Case Study: Ventura Foods

Delivering growth through agility.

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“We ended up creating a terrific final product. When we were done, it was a masterpiece for us and our organization.”

Chris Furman, Ventura Foods CEO

Among Dialect’s most successful clients, Ventura Foods makes custom and branded food products for the foodservice, retail, and food ingredient channels, including many items on your favorite restaurant menus, such as salad dressings, mayonnaise, and butter blends. Ventura Foods’ popular retail items include Marie’s Dressing® and Dean’s Dip® and their food ingredient business includes oils and shortenings that are part of finished food products.

The Opportunity

In 2009, Chris Furman was hired by the board of Ventura Foods to evolve and grow the business. Initially, he assessed the strengths of the existing strategy and established the right leadership team for the future. After that, he recognized the need for third party expertise to facilitate the creation of an identity that company leaders would embrace and the entire organization would welcome – one that would express the evolved aspirations of Ventura Foods.

The Action

Dialect led a rigorous inquiry process that examined every function in every division of the company and identified Ventura Foods’ strengths and ideas for the future. Dialect worked with an extended leadership team to define how they would make a difference for their customers, how they would differentiate themselves from their competition, and what they needed to strengthen to meet their long-term financial goals. That authentic expression of Ventura Foods’ identity – the Ventura Foods Edge – was then translated throughout the organization and integrated into all aspects of its business.

The Result

How did Ventura Foods benefit from this work? First, Ventura Foods was able to align its organization more quickly, helping to meet its ambitious financial goals ahead of projections. By creating a platform to cascade the Ventura Foods Edge to the entire company, this work enabled leaders to enroll all employees in the growth process. Finally, employees embraced and owned the Ventura Foods Edge and used it in their decision making. As one leader said, it provided “a super foundation for growth.”

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