Company Background & People
In 1989, Linda Smithson and Eleanor Hanson founded FoodWatch. The company specializes in trend identification and analysis based on two proprietary databases of food media and restaurant menu information.
The Media Database consists of editorial and recipe information from 21 consumer magazines and 12 major metropolitan newspapers. The Menu Database is comprised of item information from more than 450 innovative chain and independent restaurant menus. Both databases are designed and indexed to focus on food trend output.
Client projects include category reviews, new product ideation, trend presentations to management, web recipe research and development, and new product concept development. Clients include major food manufacturers, commodity associations, and advertising and public relations firms.
FoodWatch also publishs a monthly newsletter of trend insights.
Ms. Hanson has an undergraduate degree in Foods & Nutrition from the University of Illinois at Urbana and an MBA from Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management. She was with Kraft Foods for 17 years and served as Manager of Grocery Products and later as Director of their highly regarded Kraft Kitchens.
Ms. Smithson has an undergraduate degree in Foods & Business from the University of Illinois and an MBA from the College of St. Thomas in St Paul, MN. She has worked with Kraft Foods, Armour Foods and Pillsbury for 13 years as the Director of the Consumer Center which included the test kitchen, product publicity and consumer response.