April 2017
Everybody Get Together!

Its more than just a tagline. We're a leading provider of web-based solutions that improve the procurement process for food service manufacturers, schools, brokers, and distributors.

For the past fifteen years, we've been focused on simplifying and improving procurement for everyone involved. We look forward to collaborating with industry members and introducing new solutions in the future.

The k-12 food service bid process is unique and can be complex. As with our solutions, our newsletter aims to provide the resources you need to make this bid season your best yet.

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Although the new administration has not publicly voiced any plans to modify the current School Nutrition Program, many believe that changes are coming. We are seeing a highly polarized political atmosphere and predicting how issues will be addressed can be tricky. But with so many professionals involved in the industry and so many children impacted by the program, looking to the future is critical. Here are a few possible changes we may see to the School Nutrition Program:
  • Current regulations may be lifted or relaxed. President Trump has shown a tendency to favor deregulation and the School Nutrition program may see the same treatment.
  • Free & reduced meals may become harder to qualify for and the Community Eligibility Provision may come under fire.
  • The budget for child nutrition programs could be trimmed.
  • Block grants could cut funds and eliminate federal nutrition standards for school meals. 
These predictions are not to say that the push for healthy foods will disappear. The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) will continue to work with Michelle Obama as the honorary chair and many  companies have pledged to continue their work on that path.
What would you like to see happen in the future of school nutrition? 
Tell us what you think and we'll share the results of the survey in our summer newsletter.

Learn More 
If you're interested in reading more on this topic, check out the following articles from other sources: 

Product Type Updates
Chicken meatballs and turkey meatballs have both been added as product types in the database as well as in the Analytics tool. Previously, all meatballs were grouped together under the "Meat" category, but now those made from poultry will be broken out into their own categories. Any of our current clients who make chicken or turkey meatballs will notice that their notifications, saved searches, and Analytics reports have been updated to include those new product types.

Excel Version Updates
All Interflex Solutions (including, BidAdvantage for Manufacturer systems, BidAdvantage for Schools, and the Interflex Vendor Bidding Solution) now allow you to export any Excel spreadsheet exports as either 95-2003 .xls or 2003+ .xlsx, depending on your version of Excel. Anywhere that an Excel export is available, you will see a drop-down menu like shown below allowing you to choose which version you'd like to use. Please note, prior to this update all exports were in the 95-2003 .xls format.

Updates to BidAdvantage for Schools
Schools and cooperatives using BidAdvantage for Schools to manage their specifications throughout the year will now have the ability to clone any existing specification in their library. This will make creating specifications where only the flavor or packaging is change much quicker.  Look for the "clone" button at the bottom of your specification to make a copy of that item.

For those schools and cooperatives who issue their bids out through BidAdvantage for Schools, the option to export the list of all vendors and contacts for each bid is now available. This new feature is available under each bid phase under the "Export" menu option:

Updates to the Interflex Vendor Bidding Solution
Manufacturers, brokers, and distributors who submit a bid response to a school or cooperative through the Interflex Vendor Bidding Solution will now receive confirmation emails from the system. Once you have loaded pricing onto a bid, you will receive an email that looks like the below. This should act as a receipt for you and will indicate that your pricing was submitted successfully.
In May of 2016, the FDA announced that the standard nutrition facts label on food and beverage products will be updated. The changes are meant to help consumers make healthy and well-informed decisions based on the most relevant information to our modern dietary needs.
By July 26 of 2018, most manufacturers will need to use the new label. Only manufacturers with less than 10 million dollars in annual food sales will have until July 26 of 2019 to use the new label. By the end of July 2019, we will all be seeing the new nutrition facts label on all of our foods and beverages. 

Here are some of the most notable updates being made to the labels: 
  • "Added sugars," in grams and as percent Daily Value, will be added to the label.
  • Vitamin D, potassium, calcium and iron will be required on the label, and manufacturers must declare the actual amount, in addition to the percent Daily Value. Vitamins A and C will no longer be required but can be included on a voluntary basis.
  • "Calories from Fat" is being removed from the label.
  • Serving sizes will be updated to reflect the amounts of foods and beverages that people are actually consuming.

To give you a visual, here is a side-by-side comparison of the current nutrition facts label (on the left) versus the new label (on the right). Note the changes mentioned above as well as various updates to the design of the label as a whole: 

To learn more about the changes coming to nutrition facts labels, check out 
There are only 96 days until the SNA's Annual National Conference in Atlanta, GA!  ANC is the largest school nutrition related event of the year, with thousands of attendees, hundreds of booths to visit, and dozens of education sessions to experience. To get ready for ANC this year we asked a couple of attendees for their perspectives on the conference. Check out what Linda Tuttel-Easton from Bridgford Foods has to say:
Linda Tuttel-Easton
K-12 Consultant, Bridgford Foods Corporation 
What is your favorite thing about ANC?
Meeting and talking with all of the school representatives and trading recipes.  Also the General Sessions and Key Note speakers are always enjoyable and informative.

What do you hope to gain from this year's conference in Atlanta?
To continue to build on current relationships and create new relationships and business
Do you have any advice for first-time attendees?
Attend the first timers session and pace yourself as you walk through the exhibit hall.  There are so many food booths to try new products, but remember you have 3 days to make all of the booths.

Interflex works with school districts and cooperatives both by tracking bid opportunity and award data in the database as well as through the free procurement resource, BidAdvantage for Schools. Knowing basic information about a school or cooperative can be helpful when doing business with them, but also as a general knowledge base in the industry as a whole. Here's a quick look at the largest operator and the smallest tracked by Interflex:

Largest Operator:  Urban School Food Alliance 
The Urban School Food Alliance is a cooperative made up of New York City Public Schools, Los Angeles Unified School District, Chicago Public Schools, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Dallas Independent School District, Orlando County Public Schools, and Broward County Public Schools  
Population:  3,100,000 students 
Meals served annually:  500,000,000 
Dollars spent on Procurement: 

Learn more about the Urban School Food Alliance: 

Smallest Operator:  North White School Corp 
North White School Corporation is located in Monon, Indiana, which is in the northwest corner of the state. The school district includes three townships: Honey Creek, Liberty, and Monon.

Population:  1,079 students 
Number of Foodservice Bids per Year:  One 
Number of Bidding Vendors  1 - 2 
Award Type:  Line Item 

Learn more about North White School Corp: 

SNA's 2017 Position Paper 
The School Nutrition Association's Position Paper for 2017 was released in early March. Objectives include opposing efforts to block grant school meal programs, providing more flexibility in school nutrition standards in terms of sodium restrictions and whole-grain requirements, as well as supporting the next Farm Bill by requesting 6 cents in commodities be provided for every school breakfast served. Read the full position paper here:

Reimbursement Rates for the 2017 Summer Food Service Program Released 
The USDA has released the annual adjustments to the reimbursement rates for meals served in the Summer Food Service Program. You can read more and see the reimbursement rates on the USDA's website here: 






In February, we had the pleasure of traveling to St. Louis, MO to present how BidAdvantage for Schools can help SFA's achieve best procurement practices. The School Food & Nutrition Directors Association in Missouri was a wonderful group and the presentation was so well received we wanted to share it with you!   


Click on the PDF icon to download the Presentation:    


Interflex Vendor Bidding Solution  

The Interflex Vendor Bidding Solutions helps streamline the bid process by allowing distributors, manufacturers, and brokers to access and respond to multiple bids all in one place.  


If you've been invited to multiple bids in the Interflex Vendor Bidding Solution, the bids will appear collapsed at the bottom of your screen. You can expand any bid to access the information and respond by clicking on the gray bar at the bottom with that bid listed.   


See the screenshot below as an example:



 Amazing Fruit Products, LLC 
Berk Enterprises  
Berks Packing Co. 
Epic Harvest 
Kent Quality Foods 
National Beverage Corp.
Shawnee Milling Company