Foodservice Immersion and CSSI Marketing + Culinary announced today a new collaboration that will create insightful industry learning opportunities and build valuable relationships among and between manufacturers, operators, distributors, and marketers in foodservice.

Professional development leader Foodservice Immersion has teamed up with Chicago-based agency CSSI to offer a greater range of education, development, and training services to the foodservice industry. 

Combining the supply chain insights and on-site programs of Foodservice Immersion with the marketing and culinary capabilities of CSSI, the alliance will serve to further illuminate the inner workings of the foodservice channel. Under the guidance of Foodservice Immersion's and CSSI's industry experts, clients will deepen their understanding of operator needs and the culinary development process. 

CSSI is an agency of food people: registered dietitians, food scientists, classically trained chefs, and manufacturer brand managers. Laura MacPhail, president of Foodservice Immersion, and recently principal at The Hale Group, has joined CSSI as executive vice president, strategy and market insights. Her focus will be strategic consulting and business development.

Foodservice Immersion will continue in collaboration with Kevin Gross and CSSI's team of chefs and marketers, who will help expand and enhance the Foodservice Immersion program. Sandra Winters will remain as director, coordinating all the core programs along with exciting new program additions.

A series of new programs have been announced for 2015, and more innovative programs are planned. Each program features Foodservice Immersion's trademarked series of in-depth and intensive sessions focused on creating a bridge from food manufacturer to operator to customer. 

The limited group of attendees participates in a variety of activities in multiple operator segments: in working kitchens, on tours, with expert panels, and in lively and candid discussions. All take place with the intent of rapid education about the realities of the foodservice operator's world across segments. 

"I repeatedly observed clients—and in particular those new to the channel—struggle with the nuances of the foodservice supply chain," MacPhail says. "I wanted to provide a way for my clients to interact with their customers outside of the 'selling event,' and to share my passion for the industry. Foodservice is a complex industry with a long and steep learning curve; the Foodservice Immersion program enables clients to master that learning curve more quickly, with a level of perception they cannot find elsewhere."

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