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Fresh Look Marketing Who We Are
President and CEO Mr. Degner has a 15 year career in sales, marketing and consulting - primarily serving the Consumer Packaged Goods industry. Prior to forming FreshLook Marketing Group, Mr. Degner served as Vice President - U.S. Marketing, at Information Resources, Inc. Mr. Degner's main responsibility at IRI was to develop sales tracking solutions, and category management solutions across all perishable departments in the supermarket. Over the course of his 10 year career at IRI, Mark held a number of management positions - all in the areas of sales and consulting. Mark is an expert at developing solutions and applications from sales data. Before IRI, Mark worked for Willard Bishop Consulting, LTD. Mr. Degner has a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Western Illinois University. Mr. Degner is considered by his peers to be a borderline workaholic - but he still finds time to enjoy his family, and is active in youth development programs at his local church.
"We are eager to expand our long-term relationship with IRI, enabling us to drive substantially more value for our clients in the fresh categories," said Mark Degner, president and CEO of FreshLook.
"In addition to offering manufacturers and retailers an integrated view of the store, we look forward to expanding our engagement with current FreshLook Marketing clients by offering IRI solutions and services." Prior to forming FreshLook Marketing Group in 2000, Degner was an executive at IRI.
Eight years ago, Mark Degner tried to convince his bosses at Information Resources Inc. that the Chicago-based food research firm ought to start tracking sales of deli meats, produce and other perishable foods instead of limiting its research to fixed-weight products with Universal Product bar codes."I tried to explain to anyone who would listen that 30 to 40 percent of the data on what's selling in supermarkets was missing," Degner said."But at the time, IRI had a hundred things on their plate, and they didn't want to make the necessary investment.This data was considered garbage to them."So Degner and fellow IRI employees Joe Kolano and Ed Mackowiak left the company and started FreshLook Marketing Group in 2000.Now FreshLook, which Degner expects to make $5 million to $10 million in sales next year, is a leading firm for data on perishable, random-weight foods, proving that one company's garbage can be another company's gold.FreshLook is based in Hoffman Estates.Clients include major manufacturers like Kraft Foods, Sara Lee and Tyson Foods, as well as growers and industry groups such as the Florida Department of Citrus and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.Degner, FreshLook's president and CEO, estimates the company collects data for 35 to 50 regular clients, plus about 50 additional one-time customers.Degner said demand for FreshLook's data is high, because although perishables account for roughly 30 percent of all supermarket sales, only a handful of companies track them.Larry Burns, Degner's former supervisor at IRI, said knowing what sells and what doesn't is particularly important in the perishables business, because unlike a box of Jell-O that can sit on a shelf indefinitely, produce and meat have to move fast.FreshLook gives some companies guidance on how to use the numbers, while other, larger companies, "just want to get them on time and they want to get them right," Degner said."Sometimes folks sleep here," Degner said.
Roundtable panelists included James Steinberg, Senior Vice President, The Sterling Group; Frank Mayes, director, Mayes Consulting; Mark Degner, Vice President, Product Management, Information Resources, Inc.; Edward Brand, Director, Private Label, Farmland Private Brands; Don Seiling, National Accounts Manager, Tanimura & Antle, Wayne Drumheller, Director, Financial Development & Corporate Relations, Produce For Better Health Foundation; Richard Garvin, Creative Director, Retail, The Watt Design Group; Len Lewis, Editor-in-Chief, Progressive Grocer Magazine; Michael O'Donnell, Vice
The PL-EB Interchange NewsPage
* Information Resources Inc. , Chicago , has outsourced its perishables tracking business to a new company , FreshLook Marketing Group , founded by former IRI staffers Mark Degner , Ed Mackowiak , and Joe Kolano.