Foodservice Immersion™ and CSSI to Form Winning Alliance

Chicago, JANUARY 27, 2015 –

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.

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 incredible 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.

CSSI is an agency of food people: registered dietitians, food scientists, classically trained chefs and manufacturer brand managers. When it comes to relevant food industry experience, CSSI’s team members have done it all, and bring a unique perspective to the table. CSSI combines unparalleled industry connections and comprehensive marketing services with culinary-focused selling strategy. With Laura MacPhail’s foodservice-focused strategic consulting and market research background, CSSI will now offer clients and the industry an increased level of service in strategy and insights.

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,” states Laura MacPhail, President of Foodservice Immersion, and now EVP Strategy and Market Insights at CSSI. “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.”

The 2015 Foodservice Immersion Program Schedule:
April 13 – 15, Los Angeles: New Concepts Program and Tour
May 13 – 15, Chicago: Foodservice Immersion Core Program
July 27 – 29, Chicago: National Chain Account Culinary Selling
September 21 – 23, Boston: Foodservice Immersion Core Program
October 19 – 21, Chicago: Foodservice Immersion Core Program

New Concepts is an Immersion tour that could also be called Future Brands 2020. We’ll look at new concepts launched by major and regional chains, plus some groundbreaking independents, and see how the biggest and brightest are evolving the industry. New Concepts offers hands-on insight into the consumer trends-driven genesis of these new restaurant and menu concepts. We’ll also have brainstorming opportunities-just how will these new concepts sway consumers and the marketplace?

Chain Account Selling is a unique collaboration with the culinary team at CSSI, which lives and breathes bringing national account success to their clients. This program will feature selected on-site tours, speakers, discussions, and industry experts and leaders.
About Foodservice Immersion™ and CSSI Marketing + Culinary
Foodservice Immersion™ is a professional development program targeted at suppliers serving foodservice, and is owned and operated by MacPhail & Associates LLC. Laura MacPhail, President of Foodservice Immersion and EVP Strategy and Market Insights, CSSI, is a long-time veteran in food industry research and consulting. To find out more please visit the website,

CSSI Marketing + Culinary (CSSI) is a Chicago-based foodservice agency combining comprehensive marketing and strategy services with culinary consulting and strategy. With a staff that includes trained chefs, registered dietitians and advertising professionals, and a modern development kitchen and training facility, CSSI helps grow brands, build markets and generate sales. With offices in Chicago, Los Angeles and Shanghai, the agency works on behalf of leading manufacturers and commodity marketing associations to secure product placements and develop innovative menu concepts for leading restaurant chains. To find out more please visit the website,


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