About Joan

Who I Am:

  • The Chocolate Market Expert, Visionary Strategist and Superconnected Activator with a unique ability to craft opportunities from concept to shelf that cut through clutter and help diverse businesses create an ownable space in highly competitive categories
  • Equal parts Creative & Strategic— known by clients for these roles:

    • Creative visionary and leading confectionery expert at the forefront of major American market and consumer trends, with the gift to foresee opportunities and synthesize key insights into meaningful brand experiences and successful products
    • Seasoned marketing strategist who guides company leaders in defining their unique and ownable space in an ever-changing competitive landscape
    • Brand storyteller who creates simple yet powerful communication that engages and connects with both buyers and consumers in an authentic way, eliciting client responses such as this "Your presentation helped us sell into every single account we met with", and " You have eyes where others cannot see."

    SweetSpot: Everyday Premium — Chocolate. Confections. Snacks.

    How I Do It:

    • Sharing Expertise, Creating Unique Clutter-Busting Strategies & Activating Innovation In Product, Packaging, Brand Storytelling and Distribution For Profitable and Enduring Growth

    Who I Do It For:

    • More than 200 clients that span a diverse range of many of the world's most well-known companies and respected brands including dozens of global, national and regional confectionery companies, from start-ups to Fortune 500's. A few are listed below.
      • Allegro Coffee, Amazon, Amoco, Baker's Chocolate, Bates Worldwide, BBDO Worldwide, Ben & Jerry's, Blue Bunny, Brown & Haley, Burger King, Bush Beans, Cadbury, Canyon Ranch, Cheryl's (part of 1-800-Flowers), Circle K, Denny's, Domino's Pizza, Dreyer's, Ferrero USA , Frito-Lay, General Mills Ghirardelli, GlaxoSmithKline, Godiva, Grey Advertising/Grey Group, Grupo Bimbo, Häagen-Dazs Hallmark Keebler, Kellogg's, Kikkoman, Knorr, Kraft Foods Group, Lawry's Foods, Lipton Mars, Inc. McDonald's McKinsey & Co., Mrs. Fields, Nestle, Omnicom Group/Ketchum, PepsiCo, Popcorn Indiana Procter & Gamble, Quaker Oats, Safeway, Sanctuary Spa, Sara Lee, Sconza Candy Co., Starbucks Strauss Group, Target, The Boston Consulting Group, The Cambridge Group, The Hershey Company The Pampered Chef, Warner-Lambert (pre-Pfizer merger), Wendy's, Wyman's of Maine
      • What I've Done: Examples in Marketing, Branding, Storytelling, Product Development

        • Defined and facilitated the launch of numerous "Next Big Thing" opportunities including "the next $100M opportunity" in the confectionery category
        • Created the concept for, developed, named and helped launch dozens of gamechanger brands and highly profitable product lines sold across numerous retail channels
        • Developed ownable brand positioning and iconic branding, taglines, retail product names, romance copy, innovative packaging, retail buyer presentations, in-store merchandising, etc. that have defined the core equity of many companies and brands
        • Executed all phases of innovative product development from concept to shelf— from everyday premium treats to better-for-you items—branded and private label (size of opportunity analysis, big platform concept development, sku identification, product concepts, recipes/formulas/specs, vendor/supplier criteria and sourcing, benchmarking, sensory development & refinement, packaging, pricing, unique alternative distribution opportunities, etc.)

        Communication, Publishing & Trends Expert

        • Identified an opportunity for a magazine for chocolate lovers, and created an iconic platform for Americans to transform a guilty pleasure into a positive celebration by developing the concept and all editorial content for the first and only national chocolate magazine, Chocolatier. Initial 120k printing sold out in 2 hours; circulation reached 350k, then publication split into two publications to cover both consumer and trade audiences. Served as Founding Editor and Editor-in-Chief, and hired and managed best-in-class editorial and test kitchen team years before chocolate became a national obsession
        • Co-authored two successful cookbooks, Best-Ever Brownies and Marshall Field's Frango Chocolate Cookbook
        • Member of Communications Committee for the National Confectioners Association
        • Trends Editor for Candy & Snack TODAY, reaching more than 12,000 key confectionery and snack buyers
        • Highly respected go-to media source on chocolate, confectionery and snack consumer trends; have been featured on dozens of television and radio shows including CNN, Fox News, Good Morning America, Travel Channel, Food Network and The Martha Stewart Show, in national publications ranging from USA TODAY, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, Forbes, Entrepreneur, People Magazine, Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, and Better Homes & Gardens among numerous others. At the request of NCA, was just filmed covering Sweets & Snacks Expo trends last week.
        • Created and hosted opportunity-defining TrendTrips and TrendTalks from NY to Paris for many clients
        • Keynote speaker, moderator and seminar leader on changing American culture, consumer trends, confectionery, snack, and flavor trends, and chocolate tastings at food conferences and trade shows such as NASFT, RCI, AIWF, IACP, NCA Sweets & Snacks Expo, media events and national sales meetings
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