Let's say you want to determine the most powerful people in the food industry. How would you go about doing that?
You might start by reading SN every week (subtle advertisement). Or you might look at SN's online list of Top 75 companies and chief executives. Or you can attend a few trade shows and network. Those activities would all provide a lot of information on key industry players.
But you would have to look even deeper to learn all the identities of those who really run the industry. There are people who don't show up in the press, at trade events or in the top rolls of companies, but wield enormous influence just the same. They may have developed influence based on company position, politics, expertise or ability to innovate. These people might include retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and sales agents, and those associated with government, associations and consultancies. We can't leave out people who work in other industries but whose decisions have an extraordinary effect on the food business.
SN is setting out to create a list of the "Power 50" -- those people whose authority, influence and decisions have the biggest impact on the food industry today. Some will be obvious and others surprises. We will present our list of 50 and profile each one in a special issue on July 21. And our readers can help in this process. More on that in a moment.
You may recall that last November SN published an issue called Visionaries, focusing on the people who transformed the business over the past 50 years through their foresight and perseverance. We know in hindsight that their roles had lasting impacts.
SN's Power 50 is different. It will focus on who is behind the extraordinary U.S. food industry engine right now. It's not about the last 50 years; it's about the present. This list will be a snapshot. It would not be the same in any other year. Influence comes and goes, along with companies and trends. This list will be all about now.
Finally, here's your part. We would like you to nominate candidates for Power 50. SN's choices will be based on those nominations. You can participate by visiting SN's Web site at www.supermarketnews.com. Click on the pop-up box for Power 50 or use the link on the home page. You will be presented with instructions and a nomination form. You can fill it out and send it to us either online or by fax or mail. If you don't have Internet access you can request the form by calling 212-630-3770. Nominations must be received by May 16.
Why is it so important for you to submit candidates? Our readers are in a better position than anyone to identify where the power lies in all corners of this industry. So the outcome of this project depends on you. Between now and May 16 you hold the power. Thanks in advance for your participation.