How Mission Foods has turned Industry Challenges into Substantial Growth

Jun 7, 2024

How has Mission Foods turned industry challenges into substantial growth and innovation over two decades at Fine Food Australia?

 We spoke with Warren Jones, Director of Food Service for Sales, on nurturing impactful industry connections and steering the company to the forefront of the foodservice sector.

As Fine Food Australia celebrates its 40th anniversary, we’re reflecting on the impact the event has had on the foodservice and hospitality industry. Mission Foods, known for its diverse range of products from tortillas to flatbreads, has been a staple in the foodservice market, and our pantries, for over two decades. Warren Jones explains, “We’ve used the Fine Food vehicle as a platform to progress and push the Mission branding,” leveraging the event as a critical platform for launching new products and strengthening industry connections.

The Strategic Use of Trade Shows

Being an integral part of the industry for over 25 years and participating in Fine Food Australia for 20 of them, Warren has a first-hand account of the influence of trade shows and their significance in promoting business growth. He highlights the rejuvenated interest and engagement among attendees post-COVID, remarking, “It had its challenges from a trade space perspective, but post-COVID, I do see an increased appetite for people getting involved.” Warren points out the long-term, substantial benefits of trade shows which, although hard to quantify immediately, are integral to Mission Foods’ strategic marketing and sales initiatives, especially in enhancing customer engagement and maximising opportunities in a shifting landscape.

Adaptation of Approach

Strategically evolving their approach at Fine Food Australia, Mission Foods has transitioned from broadly targeting potential customers to prioritising focused, meaningful engagements. “We’ve learned a lot along the way,” shares Warren. “We’ve grown in our experience and understanding of how we actually utilise the show.” 

Initially aiming to “feed everyone,” Mission now prioritises targeted interactions with key industry players, enhancing their ability to build substantial business relationships. “We’ve got a big stand where we’ve segmented a bit, creating an engagement platform to better vet and discuss large-scale opportunities,” Warren explains. This refined approach includes pre-booked meetings and careful vetting of visitors, a significant shift towards ensuring high-quality interactions and outcomes. 

Creating Long-Term Connections

Warren reflects on the crucial role that Fine Food Australia plays in nurturing durable business rapports. He highlights the lasting nature of these connections saying, “We’ve got long-standing relationships even in instances where people have moved companies and so forth.” He gives a personal example: “I had someone that I had a connection with back at McDonald’s and all of a sudden, 10 years or 20 years later, he turns up at another company, comes on the stand and has a bit of a chat.” These reconnections and the development of new business opportunities underline the long-term benefits of Mission Foods’ consistent presence at trade events. Warren points out the unmatched value of in-person interactions that trade shows offer, especially critical in today’s digital-heavy environments. 

Looking ahead, Warren is optimistic about the future, with plans for expansion in the region and a broadening of Mission Foods’ product range to cater to diverse market needs. This forward-thinking approach, teamed with the lessons learned from decades of industry experience, positions Mission Foods to continue thriving in an ever-growing, ever-competitive market. 

Fine Food Australia has not only served as a platform for showcasing products but also as a catalyst for forward-thinking industry developments, innovations, and building lasting corporate relationships. As we celebrate 40 years, we are reminded of the numerous stories like Warren’s that highlight Fine Food Australia’s role in supporting the foodservice industry in Australia and beyond. 

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