Food Vision USA: Are you throwing good money after bad by using promotional tactics already proven not to work?

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Food Vision USA launches trade spending debate
Which promotions work best? 50% off, or buy one get one free (spoiler alert, they might be the same, but they’re not equally effective)?  And are fewer, deeper promotions better than frequent, more moderate deals?

“If you're not prepared to offer at least a 20% discount, then don't bother making one at all, because it won't be effective​,” says Dr Kurt Jetta, founder and CEO of CPG analytics firm TABS Group.

Spending on trade promotion is often the second largest item on any food company’s P&L, adds Dr Jetta​, who’ll be speaking on day two of Food Vision USA ​(Chicago, Oct 27-29)  ​next month: “So why do most boards fail to measure it and continue to throw good money after bad by using promotional tactics already proven not to work?”

Despite an increase in promotional spending in recent years, returns have fallen, says Dr Jetta. But this doesn’t mean it’s time to throw in the towel, it just means firms have to get smarter about promotions if they want to get a decent bang for their trade spending bucks.

Risk-free promotions?

In his presentation, Dr Jetta will discuss…

  • What’s not working​: Why tried and tested old-style promotions are often still the best
  • The shift to digital​: Why big budgets are shifting to digital, when the channel is still in its infancy in most CPG categories and delivering low returns.
  • The loyalty card myth​: Why loyalty cards create fickle customers and what we ought to do instead.
  • Risk free promotions​: How retailers and manufacturers can collaborate to create value without risk.
  • Proving the value​: How you can measure the impact of promotional spend and prove incremental sales growth.

Are you at risk of being sued?


If you’re making ‘Non-GMO’ or ‘all-natural’ claims on your packaging, meanwhile, but you’re using eggs, dairy ingredients, or meat from animals fed GM feed, could you be open to a false advertising lawsuit?

Find out on day one of Food Vision USA​ when two high-profile food law attorneys – one who sues big food companies, the other who defends them – will address the question: In the tidal wave of litigation engulfing the food industry, who has the high ground?

The food event of the year

food vision cannes

Held at the Drake Hotel in Chicago on October 27-29, Food Vision USA​ will bring together senior figures in business strategy, R&D and marketing from Chobani CMO Peter McGuinness and Sparkling ICE boss Kevin Klock to rising stars such as Austin Allan (founder of ‘soup in a bottle’ brand Tio Gazpacho) and Daniel Imrie-Situnayake (co-founder of edible insect start-up Tiny Farms).

Building on the success of the Food Vision global event, held annually in Cannes, France since 2013, we’re shining a spotlight on the companies – large and small – that are doing most to drive innovation and champion change.

Check out the list of speakers​ ​and Register HERE.

Other themes we'll address on the conference floor include:


  • American eating habits are changing. But are food retailers still stuck in the 20th century?
  • Will healthy vending become the norm?
  • What’s the size of the prize in the direct-to-consumer snacking subscription market?
  • How do Millennials buy food online?


  • How do you maintain a challenger brand mentality as a mainstream player?
  • How do you build a completely new food category (on a shoestring)?
  • Are ‘all-natural’ claims still worth it?
  • Can you use your competitors’ consumers to fuel your innovation?


  • Is 3D printing a gimmick or something with real commercial potential for the food industry?
  • Are DNA diets ready for prime time?
  • Can edible insects live up to all the hype?
  • What will we eat on a mission to Mars?
Check out the full list of speakers​  ​and Register HERE.

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