Center for Food Marketing

Professional Development - Online Courses

Our online, self-paced program modules are perfect for busy executives or for companies training a range of participants who can’t afford to take time away from the office. These non-credit courses have been developed by faculty and industry professionals.

To access and purchase our online courses, please click here.  Course descriptions are provided below; further information and course demos can be accessed on the purchasing site.  To learn more, please call 610-660-1623 or email

Introduction to the Foundations of Marketing
The food industry in the United States is an almost 1 trillion dollar industry. It is the largest commercial sector of the economy and largest employer. The industry is vast and complex, consisting of thousands upon thousands of individual farms, markets, production plants, wholesalers and brokers, trucking companies, warehouses, restaurants, institutional feeding operations, retailers and other key players such as banks, advertising agencies and marketing research firms.

In this course, we will first briefly review the nature, size and scope of the food industry in the United States. Then we will define and discuss marketing as both a social process and as a business activity.
Developing a Business Plan I
 The purpose of this course is to help you to understand the importance of a strong, well thought out business plan to the success of any business. No matter how big or how small, whether it is a soon to be or seems to have always been, family owned or corporately run, profit or non-profit, public or private, every business needs a well thought out formalized business plan. An old saying is "If you don't know where you are going any road will get you there." The business plan is meant to help you avoid finding yourself someplace you didn't even know you were going.
Developing a Business Plan II
 This course will help you through the first steps of business planning. Whether you are a start up venture writing a business plan or an ongoing enterprise developing a new strategy or just trying to evaluate your current strategy, you should find this course helpful. The first of two business planning courses deals with understanding your business, your customers, your environment, and yourself. Without this understanding, and based on it, an evaluation of the business climate for your product or service, the numbers mean nothing.
Designing Food Products for International Markets
 This course is organized into sections that describe Pennsylvania's success in exporting, our major trading partners, and specific topics associated with exporting. Online users will find additional information on major export markets, including lists of potential buyers by country and product as well as Pennsylvania suppliers.
Entering International Markets

 This course provides a comprehensive review of the various methods of exporting products addressing the differences between the types of export intermediaries, agents, distributors, partners, and agents you can choose.

An introduction to the types of documentation necessary for exporting food products and preparing for customs will be presented. Steps for preparing product for distribution will be provided. Finance options and issues are then introduced.

Finally, an overview of the range of information sources available to assist with preparing for export.

New Food Product Development I
 This course will cover issues related to new product strategy such as the importance of new product development to the firm; value creation; types of innovation and types of new products; new product failure and success; the new product process, including a focus on stage-gate processes; organizational structures for new product development, including cross-functional teams and the importance of outsourcing; plus early stage development activities, including opportunity assessment, ideation, concept development and testing, product testing and shelf-life testing, and scale-up from the bench to the pilot plant.
New Food Product Development II
 Part II will pick up where Part I ends. We will discuss the various elements of the marketing plan needed to support new product introduction, including packaging design and development, brand name, positioning, pricing, advertising and promotion. We will also discuss the launch process, including the coordination of various sourcing, production and logistical activities, the sell-in process, and execution of the launch, from start ship through monitoring the launch.