John W. "Jack" Allen
Ph.D., 1966. Cornell University
M.S., 1958. Cornell University
BS., 1953 Cornell University
Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics,
Michigan State University
Professor Emeritus John W. “Jack” Allen, Ph.D., a proud former officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, earned his doctoral degree at Cornell University, where he taught in the food industry management program. He served as Director of Retailer Relations for the American Meat Institute during its tenure in Chicago and later joined the Michigan State University faculty in 1969.
At MSU, Professor Allen was a member of the Department of Marketing, Broad School of Business, and the Department of Agricultural Economics. For most of his academic career, he led the Food Industry Management Program at Michigan State, which provides a system-wide perspective of managerial problems confronting firms in the food industry. Under Allen’s leadership, the program became a catalyst for industry innovation in marketing and creating consumer value-added, recognizing the increasing interdependence among companies throughout the food chain.
Professor Allen later became a member of the Michigan State University USAID project, “Partnerships for Food Industry Development” where he participated in projects in Guatemala, Ghana, India, Nicaragua and South Africa. The goal of these projects was to link small-scale produce farms to the global marketplace in sustainable business relationships that would raise agricultural incomes in these countries and provide food retailer export customers with distinctive, high quality products.
Allen was an early proponent of improving the retail merchandising of meat and poultry products, and helped industry participants identify new opportunities in the natural and organic foods segment. He spent many years advocating for implementation of case-ready systems, which have become the industry’s dominant packaging mode. He spent many years delivering impactful presentations on those subjects to large and receptive audiences at retail and meat-industry trade shows.
Allen was the first recipient of a meat industry Lifetime Achievement Award presented in conjunction with the Food Marketing Institute, the American Meat Institute and the National Grocers Association. Allen and his associates conducted several seminars at meat industry conferences, explaining consumer research that they had developed, which provided outlook for retailers, wholesalers, and meat processors.