Skip to content

Strategic Portfolio Management for the Specialty Food Association

The Specialty Food Association

Specialty Food



Businesses Represented

Trade Association

Organization Type

New York, New York.


The Specialty Food Association (SFA), the leading association representing the specialty food industry, partnered with McKinley Advisors on a portfolio analysis to evaluate SFA’s offerings and uncover insights to help them stay responsive to organizational, membership and market dynamics.


Like many associations, SFA needed a way to streamline and focus their product and service offerings to remain relevant and competitive. By assessing their current portfolio comprehensively, SFA would be able to identify areas for investment and programs they could divest from and prioritize strategic initiatives aligned with their core values and mission. 

They also knew that there would be some stakeholders who were apprehensive about the idea of divesting from specific programs, so it was essential to conduct research and communicate with them throughout the process.


During the portfolio analysis, several specific factors and data points played a pivotal role in the decision-making process:

  • Financial and staff time data was instrumental in accurately assessing the necessary investments and returns of each program, service or product within their portfolio.
  • Market research helped the SFA team understand evolving market trends and input on how the portfolio performed and aligned with members' needs.
  • The competitive analysis allowed them to gauge their position relative to competitors in the industry.
  • Performance metrics gave them a clear view of how well each offering met its intended goals.

The McKinley team facilitated sessions with SFA’s staff and board of directors throughout the process to review the data and receive feedback. The analysis of data and facilitated conversations provided valuable insights that guided their choices. The SFA team was able to invest in programs, events, and offerings that had growth potential and were strategically aligned with their goals. They also were able to divest from products that were no longer aligned with their strategic vision. 


The process yielded a sharpened organizational focus, bringing heightened clarity and direction to their strategic plan.

  • The SFA introduced new programs that garnered remarkably positive initial feedback from their members.
  • Their investment in the Fancy Food Shows translated into a double-digit percentage increase in exhibit space and attendance.
  • SFA had the highest number of new members in the organization's 70+ year history.

SFAFancy Food Show. Photo: Loop Seven


The SFA engaged McKinley Advisors and initiated the portfolio analysis project with a deep-seated motivation to stay at the forefront of our industry. Managing and interpreting vast volumes of data required a significant effort, and McKinley was incredibly helpful in working with the team to process it all. These changes are having a profound impact on our organization. We are starting to experience improved member engagement, streamlined resource allocation and a stronger competitive position in the market. The insights from our portfolio analysis empowered us to make informed decisions that led to a more agile, competitive and strategically aligned portfolio.

Bill Lynch

President, Specialty Food Association

Contact us today

Let’s Get To Work