The 2019 IPPE - An Interview with Dr. Benjy Mikel, PhD


IPPE Atlanta, Georgia
JRW Accepting KeyStar Supplier Sustainability Award

The International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) is the world's largest annual poultry, meat, and feed industry event of its kind. A wide range of international decision-makers attend this annual event to network and become informed on the latest technological developments and issues facing the industry.

The 2019 IPPE, February 12-14th, brought together more than 1,200 exhibitors and 30,000 visitors to Atlanta, Georgia.

IPPE is important for networking and learning from others within the food space. That is why the John R. White Company makes it a point to send some of our own every year. We send excited individuals who are eager to connect with others and learn all they can from this event. The John R. White Company was even honored with the KeyStar "Contributing to Communities" Supplier Sustainability Award for the 25,056 meals we packaged and donated to Hurricane Florence Relief efforts during our 2018 Hunger Project. Along with CEO Donny Patton, Director of Sales Richie Bruce, and others, highly seasoned veteran of IPPE for over thiry years now, Dr. Benjy Mikel, PhD attended the event.

Dr. Benjy Mikel, PhD


JRW Birmingham, AL Dr. Benjy Mikel, IPPE Product Development Panel


For 25 years, Dr. Mikel has served at three academic institutions with predominant roles related to meat safety and quality.

Benjy Mikel has also recently served as the President of Phi Tau Sigma, the American College of Animal Sciences, the American Meat Science Association, and the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists Department. He has been honored with the American Meat Science Association Achievement Award, Distinguished Industry/Extension Award, Meritorious Service Award and was named an AMSA Fellow.

Product Development

At this year's IPPE, Dr. Mikel discussed Case Studies in Product Development. Here are a few of the key topics he hit on during the panel:

Q: In what ways do you see consumer demand shifting? How will a focus on product development benefit companies trying to stay ahead of consumer demand?

A: Consumer demand is constantly shifting as new ideas arise and consumer lifestyles change. The interest of today's consumers focuses on natural, non-GMO, organic, and clean label concepts. Companies with aggressive Research and Development efforts are capable of staying ahead of consumer demands and meeting the challenges of expanding market opportunities.

Q: Of the potential impact of functional ingredients discussed, which do you see being of the greatest demand to consumers? Which of these do manufacturers struggle with the most?

A: Consumer segments often want various conflicting items. While they prefer less ingredients, they also want long shelf lives, safe foods, and cheaper unit cost. The challenges most food processors have are to produce a food item that incorporates all these features while maintaining the cost effectiveness demanded by the marketplace.

Q: Of the potential functional ingredient liabilities discussed, which poses the greatest threat to manufacturers?

A: Increased unit cost with higher price point functional ingredients is always a challenge. However, it is one that can be overcome with marketing efforts geared towards more value-added retail and food service outlets.

Q: How does pursuing product development directly and indirectly affect a company’s ROI?

A:  While many companies consider R&D to be overhead, an aggressive and effective R&D effort can always play a positive role in both short and long term return on investment.

At JRW, we are thankful for the many knowledgeable people on our team who are available to all the customers we serve.

Looking for a food ingredient distributor with a knowledgeable sales team that can help you with your new product development and more? Call us today! Click here for our contact information.

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