ncgt-logoNC Growing Together (NCGT) is sponsoring student teams at NC State Poole College of Management’s Supply Chain Resource Cooperative and Consumer Innovation Consortium that are addressing pressing business and supply chain issues.

NCGT is a CEFS-led initiative that is working to bring more locally-grown foods — produce, meat, dairy, and seafood — into mainstream retail and food service supply chains.

In the Spring 2014 semester, one of three sponsored teams examined a hot topic among North Carolina’s food business entrepreneurs and food hubs: the potential costs and returns of transforming local produce into a bagged frozen version for sale in retail stores.

“Over the past year a number of hubs have brought up the idea of adding a frozen produce enterprise to their fresh produce aggregation and distribution operations, creating an additional income stream and helping to preserve their brand identity in retail stores over the winter months,” says NCGT Project and Research Director Rebecca Dunning. “Having an MBA team available to collect data and do the analysis with our food hub partners has been ideal.”

“We have the capacity to blast freeze and have tried it on a limited basis, but without a detailed analysis of the costs and potential returns, we were hesitant to go in that direction. Now we are equipped to make a decision for next season,” added Leslie Hossfeld, Executive Director of Feast Down East food hub in Burgaw, NC.

The team’s Powerpoint summary and cost-return analysis spreadsheets for Feast Down East and Pilot Mountain Pride — which can be adapted for use in other ventures —  can be found on the Research page of the NC Growing Together website.

For information on additional NCGT partner/MBA research team collaborations, please contact NCGT Project and Research Director Rebecca Dunning.

From the December 2014 E-Newsletter