Exclusive: Steve Robinson Comments on Being Keynote Speaker at Southern Innovations
NASHVILLE, TN – Steve Robinson may be newer to the produce industry, but one thing is for sure: He has a deep understanding of why fresh ingredients are the stepping stones of all great food. This year, the Southeastern Produce Council (SEPC) invited Steve to participate in the Southern Innovations Organics and Foodservice Expo as Keynote Speaker. I sat down to ask him some questions about the event, but wound up being charmed by his concise explanation of the produce category’s importance (the Southern accent was an added bonus).
“The event is valuable because it challenges a few paradigms about the role of not only the ingredients, but the role of brands, in creating more valuable products for consumers and helping them not only enjoy better food but have a better experience,” Steve told me.
Formerly Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Chick-fil-A, Steve’s background in foodservice gives him a unique perspective on the upcoming Southern Innovations Expo. With that in mind, I asked him why he believes people should attend the event.
“I think the advantage is to help people understand that all brands are different. They all have different niches in the marketplace and are all trying to create different images and experiences. Ingredients have the potential to help build a brand and fulfill brand promises,” explained Steve. “In the case of Chick-fil-A, our overall commitment was to create flavorful food with high-quality ingredients. Backing up from that, it meant we had to have a supply chain of high-quality, fresh produce. It was just as much about delivering our brand expectations as it was making food.”
If you ask me, those are the words of a man deeply rooted in the movement to improve food safety, quality, and of course, taste. At the close of our discussion, I asked Steve if he could give us any teasers as to what he will speak about at the event. To which he laughed and divulged a topic of his speech.
“If you don't have the right culture, you'll never have a great brand, and you're probably never going to partner with a great brand,” he said.
Congratulations to Steve Robinson on the honor of being Keynote Speaker at this year’s Southern Innovations Organics and Foodservice Expo. Keep checking in with us at AndNowUKnow for more updates as the event draws nearer.