All posts by mclemore

Salty Snacks – It’s All Academic

Hmmm. What to pick … pretzels, potato chips, corn chips, energy bars or popcorn?

For marketing seniors and juniors in the Marketing Category Management class at the Sam M. Walton College of Business, walking through the snack aisle in the grocery store is more than a shopping trip, it’s an academic study.

Bob Bachtel, an instructor for the Department of Marketing and a principal for IRI Worldwide in Bentonville, leads this class and challenges students to research the salty snack category, devise a plan to drive sales and then present their solutions to the class and industry experts. The competitive exercise was the culmination of the class, which focused on data analysis using shopper and sales trends, product placement, shelving/modular and product placement design software and presentation skills.

The class is designed to provide students a strong skill set to get a job in the growing field of category management.  Students can get certified in category management and Kantar Virtual Reality and learn to use shopper and sales data in category and business analysis. 

Throughout the spring 2019 semester, category management students benefitted from corporate mentors and speakers from Walmart, Sam’s Club, IRI Worldwide, Johnson & Johnson, Nestle, 8th& Walton, General Mills, PepsiCo, Harvest Group, Keurig/Dr. Pepper and Smuckers.

In addition, companies such as IRI Worldwide, the Category Management Association and Kantar Retail provided data sets and computer-aided design software to assist in researching shopper trends and placing products on shelves digitally.

Teamwork
For the final class project, the students formed six teams and began to research the overall category, find areas of growth in product development and target markets. From there, teams devised new or improved product lines, such as:

  • Dos Cara 2019
    Team One: Dos Caras 2019

    Team One – Dos Caras, Spice It Up, a new plain corn chip with flavor packets to add according to the spiciness level of the consumer’s choice. Target market: millennials and young adults.

  • Team Two – Simply, a new product line of organic corn chips with guacamole and Sriracha hot sauce flavors. Target market: millennials through flavor and older adults through pricing.
  • Team Three – New packaging and flavors for KIND bars, an existing product line. Target market: older millennials and baby boomers.
  • Team Four: Pop Fuego
    Team Four: Pop Fuego

    Team Four – Pop Fuego, a new line of popcorn with new flavors. Target market: middle class millennials

  • Team Five – Marley’s Seaweed Chips, a new veggie chip. Target market: health conscious adults.
  • Team Six – New flavors for Tostitos, expanding an existing product with new flavors. Target market: Asian and Hispanic markets in west coast, Texas and southern states.

Industry professionals judged the six presentations on:

  • Thesis statement or the strength of the idea presented.
  • Supporting documentation or evidence.
  • Creativity in solution.
  • Presentation skills.
  • Wow factor.

Several teams noted the increasing Hispanic population and one team noted the increasing Asian population for their target market. Students also researched trends of Millennials, Gen Xers, Baby Boomers and more. From there, they researched product flavors and spokespersons that might appeal to those ages and markets.

Some targeted consumers interested in healthy snacks, while other teams targeted cost conscious consumers.  The target audience would shape how each team promoted its product. Those focused on cost cutting would use coupons as a marketing tool, while products focused on the Hispanic market might launch the new product line before Cinco de Mayo (May 5) or during Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15). 

With the research done, consumer audience identified, products designed, and presentations created, teams were ready to present their work to judges Cole Dodson from IRI, and Steve Meehan, a retired industry executive, and Bob Bachtel.  

The winning team of Dos Caras consisted of students Bobbi Thompson, Chase Punko, De’stani Clark, Mohamad Abutaleb and Ashley Grizzle.
The winning team of Dos Caras consisted of students Bobbi Thompson, Chase Punko, De’stani Clark, Mohamad Abutaleb and Ashley Grizzle.

And the Winner Is …
The Dos Caras, Spice It Up! team won the class competition due to its proposed unique spice packet that comes with each bag of unflavored tortilla chips. The consumer adds the amount of spice they like to plain chips and then shakes the clear, re-sealable bag to distribute the flavors. If the consumer wants more spice, they add more.

The Dos Caras (Two Faces) product targeted Gen X and Baby Boomer population and the growing Hispanic market in the mid-Atlantic states and key markets in the western United States. It would launch with three flavors:  hot sauce/jalapeno, chili/lime and mango/chili.

Dos Caras presentation included sales profit of $1.7 million for 450 Walmart stores at a sales price of $2.48 per bag.

The team tackled a 2% loss in the unflavored chip market with this interactive product. Its main competitors are the Juanita’s, Tostitos and Old Dutch brands. 

The salty snack industry is a $19 billion industry with 4% annual growth.

 

 

Nominate a Business Leader for the 2020 Arkansas Business Hall of Fame

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas Business Hall of Fame board is accepting nominations for the 2020 class of business leaders who have made a lasting contribution to business and their communities. The nomination deadline is July 31.

Arkansas Business Hall of Fame
Arkansas Business Hall of Fame

Specific criteria for selection and a list of past honorees can be found at walton.uark.edu/abhf. Nominations can be made by completing and submitting the form found on the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame website or sending a letter of nomination including information that illustrates to the selection committee why the nominee deserves recognition.

Nominations also may be emailed to abhf@walton.uark.edu or by mail to the Office of External Relations at the Sam M. Walton College of Business, Donald W. Reynolds Center for Enterprise Development, Office of External Relations, Room 217, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701-1201.

The 2020 class will be inducted at a gala dinner Feb. 7, 2020, in Little Rock.

In selecting inductees, the committee considers outstanding leadership in establishing, building or running a business; improving his or her community; and displaying the highest level of ethics.

Equal consideration is given to Arkansans – by birth or by choice – whose business achievements have been inside or outside of the state. Living inductees must be at least 60 years of age. Nominations are not limited to graduates of the Sam M. Walton College of Business or the University of Arkansas.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among fewer than 2.7 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

Kids Sell Lemonade Like a Boss on Saturday

On Saturday, May 4, Northwest Arkansas youth will learn how to become an entrepreneur through Lemonade Day, an educational activity that teaches children how to operate a business.

That day pop-up lemonade stands will blanket the region — from Gentry to Farmington and Bentonville to Fayetteville — as students compete to raise the most money. Afterschool programs such as Boys & Girls Clubs will also participate. 

To launch their businesses, students will:

  • Design their product and stand.
  • Select a location.
  • Borrow startup capital.
  • Determine a price.
  • Payoff their loan.
  • Create their marketing.
  • Make a profit.
2018 Lemonade Day Stand
2018 Lemonade Day

Projects usually support a charitable organization as well as reward the students for their entrepreneurial spirit.  

Under the direction of J.R. Hinkson, associate director for Undergraduate Programs at the Sam M. Walton College of Business, students in Leadership Walton, a professional development program at Walton College, are teaching the curriculum to kids in grades 3-8. Rita Littrell, director of the Bessie B. Moore Center for Economic Education at Walton College, provided support to the Leadership Walton students as they developed lessons on product development, pitching the investor, marketing, stand location and budgeting.

Partnering with Startup Junkie, an entrepreneurial consulting company that is managing the Lemonade Day program, Leadership Walton students served as mentors for elementary school classes.

Show these budding entrepreneurs your support and purchase lemonade in your neighborhood! Most stands can be found near your favorite retail outlet or downtown community.

Leadership Walton students participating in the program are:

Bailey Bennett

Chloe Brammell

Isabelle Brammell

Alexis Byrd

Sean Calhoun

Jordan Carr

Diane Charles

Brooke Dollar

Violet Duffy

Hagan Fromme

Katie Games

Sara Gardner

Faith Heller

Tess Iler

Kirsten James

Anna Justice

Kate Lynn

Andrea Mann

Ben Martin

Juliann Phillips

Destiny Posey

Abbie Rhodes

Alyson Schutte (Team Leader)

Sara Scott

Prudhvi Tavva

Corey Vance

Evan Waicberg

Helen Woodham

 

Meehan Receives Supply Chain Scholarship

McKenzie Meehan, a junior majoring in supply chain management at the Sam M. Walton College of Business, at the University of Arkansas, was awarded an Excellence in Education Scholarship by AWESOME (Achieving Women’s Excellence in Supply Chain Operations, Management, and Education). Meehan is one of five recipients nationally to receive the award.

AWESOME is comprised of women in executive roles in the supply chain industry. Each year the organization invites 22 universities with top supply chain programs to nominate one student to compete for the scholarship. Faculty members nominate young women currently enrolled in supply chain programs who demonstrate supply chain leadership.

“I am excited that McKenzie received this award because I believe that she embodies the characteristics that make for a successful supply chain leader,” said Stephanie Thomas, clinical assistant professor at the Walton College. “She is highly motivated, willing to work hard, equally comfortable in a leadership or supporting role, dependable and coachable. The connections she will make through this scholarship award will be invaluable to her future supply chain career.”

The AWESOME Excellence in Education scholarship will allow Meehan to participate in the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals EDGE Conference in Anaheim, California, in September 2019 and the AWESOME Symposium in May 2020.

“This scholarship allows me the chance to acquire knowledge and experience from incredible women and industry leading companies and then extend that investment from myself to the other students here at Walton College,” Meehan said.

Recently the Chancellor’s Commission on Women named Meehan one of the University of Arkansas’ Extraordinary Women. She also serves as the president of Women Impacting Supply Chain Excellence, a registered student organization on campus, and is a student member of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, a national professional organization. Meehan is personnel chair for the Chi Omega sorority and chairs the senior relations committee for the Student Alumni Board at the University of Arkansas. She interned with Academy Sports + Outdoors last summer and will intern with General Mills this summer. She hails from Overland Park, Kansas.

The additional student scholarship recipients for 2019 attend Michigan State University, Auburn University, Penn State and Syracuse University. Previous scholarship winners from the University of Arkansas are Kyani Alford, a 2016 recipient, and Monica Sewell, a 2018 recipient. 

Office of Diversity & Inclusion Celebrates 25 Years at Walton College

On Friday, April 5, the Office of Diversity & Inclusion at the Sam M. Walton College of Business hosted an award ceremony and reception at the Chancellor Hotel in Fayetteville to mark its 25thanniversary at the University of Arkansas.

Jim Coleman, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Arkansas, recognized Barbara Lofton, Ed.D., for her 23 years of service as the director for the Office of Diversity & Inclusion – the oldest diversity office at a Southeastern Conference business school.

“Barbara is a beacon on the hill for us,” Coleman said.  “The fact the Office of Diversity & Inclusion has been here 25 years is a testament to Walton College’s commitment.”

“I’m proud of the work Barbara and her team have done to recruit and retain such excellent students over the years,” said Matt Waller, Walton College dean. “Barbara’s leadership and her attention to students has been life changing for many young people.”

(l-r) Matt Waller, Barbara Lofton and Ebony Wyatt ask attendees to toast the Office of Diversity & Inclusion in honor of its 25th anniversary.
(l-r) Matt Waller, Barbara Lofton and Ebony Wyatt ask attendees to toast the Office of Diversity & Inclusion in honor of its 25th anniversary.

Ebony Wyatt, director of sales at General Mills, emceed the event. Wyatt, a Walton College alumna, shared her own memories of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion. She first learned about Walton College through the Accounting Career Awareness Program summer camp hosted by the diversity office when Wyatt was a junior in high school. She also credits Lofton with helping her secure her first professional job with General Mills. Wyatt now teams up with Lofton and the Office of Diversity & Inclusion to host career workshops focused on helping students successfully secure a full-time job.

“She’s like a mother hen,” Wyatt said of Lofton. “She is always there to help support you, push you and encourage you to be your best!”

The Office of Diversity & Inclusion named two individuals Diversity Champions for their work to support minorities, students and entrepreneurs:  Lonnie R. Williams, Ed.D., special assistant to the chancellor at Arkansas State University and former assistant vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of Arkansas, and Oliver L. Sims III,

America’s technical sales leader for CA Technologies, a division of Broadcom, the managing partner of Oliver Sims Advisors and Investors and co-founder of Henry Health, a mental health and self care support digital platform.

Walton College students were also honored for their leadership in the National Association of Black Accountants and the Students of Retailing Excellence student organizations. Recognized were Eric Mays – accounting senior, Joe Bradley Jr. – accounting senior, Victoria Fields – management senior, De’Stani Clark – marketing senior, Malik Dedner – Master of Accountancy candidate, Fredrica Harris – MBA candidate and Jada Gaspard – marketing senior.

Keynote speaker student De’Stani Clark shared how the Office of Diversity & Inclusion had personally encouraged her as a student at the university. Before starting college, Clark’s mother was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer, which left Clark with serious choices. Clark was not sure she should leave her family to attend college due to her mother’s illness but chose to attend with her mother’s encouragement.  At the end of her spring semester freshman year, Clark’s mother passed away. Clark struggled emotionally the following academic year and leaned on the Office of Diversity & Inclusion.

“I felt the light of love and support of Dr. Lofton, Dr. Hughes, Mrs. Anne and Ryan,” Clark said. “I challenge you to find two students in need and let them know they have the power to choose.”

Keynote speaker De’Stani Clark, a marketing senior, hugs Barbara Lofton as she completes her speech.
Keynote speaker De’Stani Clark, a marketing senior, hugs Barbara Lofton as she completes her speech.

The Gerald and Candace Alley Foundation, Con-Real, LP, and Ernst & Young sponsored the 25thanniversary event.

About the Office of Diversity & Inclusion

Created in 1994, the Office of Diversity & Inclusion supports, advocates and assists the Walton College in developing plans for diversity throughout the school to increase representation, integration and the fundamentals of equality among all faculty, staff and students.

The department manages four summer outreach programs to educate high school students about business careers and opportunities at Walton College. The office also oversees several scholarship programs and business competitions for Walton College students.

Walton Career Services Introduces Tech Month and New Programming

Walton Career Services will close the spring semester with a wide variety of speakers and professional development opportunities as students prepare for their summer internships and full-time roles.

Students of any major will have the opportunity to participate in the events listed below and in various Tech Month activities that celebrate the role technology is playing in changing the workforce.

Walton Career Services will also introduce the new S.A.M. Talk speaker series. S.A.M. Talks – Students Achieving Milestones – is meant to inspire and foster an environment of continuous learning and growth through short, influential talks by either professionals or fellow students that empower students and motivate them to achieve more during their college experiences.

Walton Career Services will host the following events in April:

  • B. Hunt – Company of the Day: April 2, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • B. Hunt Tech Talk: April 2, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
  • PepsiCo Distinguished Lecture: April 4, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
  • Introduction to Retail Link – Beginner Level: April 6, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Buckle – Company of the Day: April 9, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. 
  • S.A.M. Talk with Anupam Strivastava: “Birding and the future of work.”: April 9, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
  • Business, Tech and Creative Careers in the Arts & Entertainment Industries Panel: April 9, 3:30 – 4:45 p.m. 
  • Business, Tech and Creative Careers in the Arts & Entertainment Industries Panel Post Reception: April 9, 4:45 – 6:00 p.m.
  • Academy Sports + Outdoors Corporate Spotlight: April 10, 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 
  • UA Employer Partners BBQ: April 11, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Retail Link Advanced: April 13, 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Escape Room: G.R.I.T. Challenge with Schmieding Product: April 15, 9:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
  • Abbott – Company of the Day: April 16, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • S.A.M. Talk with Buster Arnwine, VP of Global Health at RB: “Going off Script: Building the plan to differentiate yourself from peers and get the career of your dreams.”: April 17, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
  • Are You Ready? Pop-Up Shop: Every Tuesday, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

For more details and to register for events, use Handshake at uark.joinhandshake.com to see the complete list and newly added events.

 

ROAR Across Campus

In the fall of 2017, Anne Velliquette, a marketing clinical assistant professor at the Sam M. Walton College of Business, watched her son view a series of online videos about alcohol and substance abuse, a requirement for all incoming freshmen. She questioned what he retained and how seriously he viewed the content.

Anne Velliquette, faculty adviser
Anne Velliquette, faculty adviser

“I wondered whether it was at all effective in educating our freshmen on the reality of what they were about to embark on as a college student with new freedoms and plenty of opportunities to consume alcohol in an unhealthy way,” Velliquette said. 

Ironically, soon after, she was contacted by Sarah Stokowski, a recreation and sport management assistant professor in the College of Education and Health Professions, who was seeking assistance from a marketing professor for a collaborative grant application regarding alcohol abuse prevention on campus.

 The timing was perfect.

In collaboration with several university departments and programs, Stokowski submitted a successful grant application and the University of Arkansas was awarded the NCAA CHOICES grant for $30,000 over a three-year period. The grant provides funding to reduce alcohol abuse on campus through a partnership with athletics and other campus groups.

The grant led to the development of ROAR –Razorbacks Offering Accountability Resources – a new registered student organization on campus open to all students at the university. Its mission is to encourage students to drink responsibly and to look after others who may be drinking.

Ridge Stringer serves as co-president for ROAR.
Ridge Stringer serves as co-president for ROAR.

Of the 15 universities receiving CHOICES funding, the University of Arkansas program is unique. Instead of driving the program through athletics, administrators, professors or student affairs – a restrictive delivery – the ROAR program encourages healthy behavior through peer-to-peer interaction.

“We feel like if we approach from a student-led side, with the goal of having fun and prioritizing SAFE drinking, NOT abstinence, it will give us a great shot of being successful,” said Ridge Stringer, ROAR co-president and senior majoring in marketing at Walton College.

ROAR educates students about alcohol use in fun, approachable ways. In February 2019, ROAR arranged a tour of the Black Apple Cidery in Springdale to learn about how cider is made and learn about safe consumption.

Red Solo cups (trash cans painted red) help draw attention to ROAR's Got Water? campaign on campus.
Red Solo cups (trash cans painted red) help draw attention to ROAR’s Got Water? campaign on campus.

“Another project is our Got Water? campaign,” Stringer said. “This campaign allows us to use those big red Solo cups (trash cans painted red) to put water in, and have those at various events on campus to make sure students stay hydrated. This campaign is organized and ready to go. We plan on using it at events like IFC Row Week, Razorback baseball games in the Hog Pen, and at the student entry before football games.”

Stringer hopes that students will be receptive to free bottles of water and will incorporate water into their party plans. With this in mind, ROAR has partnered with the risk management chairpersons at fraternities and sororities.

“We plan on those RMCs being ROAR ambassadors in their respective houses, in order to spread the word on ROAR, and push our initiatives to them,” Stringer added.

In its inaugural year, ROAR has 80 members who have implemented numerous projects and has collaborated with several campus-wide organizations.  One such collaboration is with Emery Gower, a wellness specialist for substance use who works in the Department of Wellness and Health Promotion at the university.

 Gower teaches students on campus wellness skills to counteract drug and alcohol abuse, overeating, poor spending habits, negative relationships or other risky behaviors.

“My goal is to shift from an often preachy way of talking to students and what they are doing wrong to one that is more driven by what they are doing right and how they can do more of that,” Gower said. “ROAR fits with these goals because they are inspiring a group of students to help normalize the fact that you can drink responsibly and still have a good time.”

ROAR also partners with University of Arkansas Police Department, Greek Life, College of Education and Health Professions, University Housing, Counseling and Psychological Services, Department of Athletics and Walton College.

Working with campus-wide partners, ROAR has four main goals.

  1. Develop and deliver bystander intervention training.
  2. Create and disseminate marketing materials to educate students about alcohol use and abuse.
  3. Create awareness about resources available to students regarding alcohol education and abuse prevention.  
  4. Decrease risky behavior involving alcohol.

The program targets all students at the university, but especially freshmen, student-athletes and members of Greek life. One way ROAR tries to educate students is through social media campaigns.

ROAR created awareness and recruited new members by participating in Walton College's Block Party in August.
ROAR created awareness and recruited new members by participating in Walton College’s Block Party in August.

“There’s approximately 27,000 students at the U of A, and it’s hard for a brand new RSO to establish great awareness fast. This is why we participate in almost every outreach event we can, including creating our own,” Stringer said. “Social media is big for us. We recently had a social media giveaway where prizes included Uber gift cards and other cool stuff. That alone netted us nearly 400 more followers, and over 1,500 comments on the post.”

Working with University Housing, resident advisers in all dorms will receive bystander training, as will fraternity and sorority leaders, ROAR officers and other ambassadors. In fall 2018, ROAR held workshops during Freshman Business Connections classes, which are required of all freshman enrolled in Walton College. ROAR won the SOOIE Event of the Month Award for their involvement in these workshops.

“One of our student officers shared his own freshman testimony/story about his poor choices with alcohol and how this impacted him,” Velliquette said. “He had such a powerful impact being a senior in a fraternity – someone younger students could relate to.”

The group has also participated in Walton College’s Block Party event, held the first week of fall classes, to create awareness and recruit new members. In addition, they’ve hosted T-shirt giveaways in front of the Arkansas Union and held meet-ups at local stores such as Bearded Goat Apparel.

Academic Focus
While ROAR focuses on peer behavior, Stokowski has utilized the grant for research opportunities.

Sara Stokowski, faculty adviser
Sara Stokowski, faculty adviser

“Countless studies have demonstrated that student-athletes, first year students and students involved in Greek life are at risk of alcohol abuse. Combined, these populations make up 40 percent of our campus. The CHOICES grant has allowed us to begin several studies looking at the campus culture regarding alcohol,” Stokowski said. “We have several surveys out right now inquiring about students’ drinking behaviors, attitudes towards drinking, as well as mental health. So, when all of the data is finally collected, it will be very cool to see the impact ROAR has had. We do know that alcohol related educational sanctions are down nearly 20 percent from last year to this year when we started ROAR.”

Just as Stokowski’s research relates to the ROAR grant, Velliquette pulls it into the classroom.

“We jointly discussed how we could use my classes to help come up with the name, logo and event ideas.  We also discussed the idea of a peer-to-peer program with a registered student organization,” Velliquette said. “Starting ROAR the RSO has been much like starting a new business and it has been amazing to watch the students running it learn and grow!” 

“It is so encouraging to see so many students want to be involved in efforts to help their peers understand the negative consequences of alcohol abuse, and the importance of having a life-long healthy relationship with alcohol,” Velliquette said. “I hope ROAR can help change the alcohol culture on campus and impact lives. I know it is a tall order, but even if it makes a dent in reducing alcohol abuse it is worth it.”