Oct 18, 2018
It’s an exciting and interesting time for both the food manufacturing and construction industries. Thanks to recent tax reform, a healthy economy and other factors, capital spending is up, and the industrial/commercial construction industry is bigger than it has been in decades. This trend is expected to continue, with U.S. construction projected to grow by 4.5 percent over the next several years.
While many would agree that this is a positive, it can also present challenges for food and beverage companies looking to build new facilities or renovate existing ones. Today’s booming construction market means things move fast and contractors can be more selective.
So how can you ensure you get the best price when seeking out a firm for your next project?
Oct 11, 2018
We live in a world where we have unprecedented access to a wide variety of data — and food and beverage plants are no exception. Owners increasingly want to know what’s going on in their facilities from water and electricity consumption to other processing and mechanical data.
Building management systems can monitor and control various elements throughout a building, such as:
- HVAC systems
- Processing equipment
- Security systems
While these systems are utilized in various commercial buildings, they’re especially important in food manufacturing facilities, which use a significant amount of energy and water in their processing.
3 takeaways from the Food Marketing Institute’s new market study
Oct 4, 2018
Business owners are increasingly discovering the benefits of working with design-build firms, according to a comprehensive new study on the design-build market released by Food Marketing Institute (FMI). The study found design-build now makes up almost half of all construction projects nationwide, and market share is expected to keep growing over the next three years.
Research showed design-build use has not only expanded across all sectors and regions of the U.S., but owners who used this project delivery method were more satisfied with their experience compared to other methods due to advantages like innovation and quick speed to market.
Here are the key takeaways from FMI’s study on the design-build market now and where it’s headed in the next few years.
Sep 27, 2018
Caspers Cold Storage & Distribution, Florida’s oldest third-party logistics company, recently opened a new state-of-the-art refrigerated distribution facility in Tampa that is helping transform the company into one of the most dynamic leaders in cold storage distribution today. The 116,000-square-foot facility is key to Caspers’ new business model as a frozen-food storage provider. It includes:
- An 87,000-square-foot, -10°F freezer
- Two -48°F blast cells
- A 16,000-square-foot, 35°F truck dock
- Machine and maintenance rooms
- Offices and employee welfare areas
The facility was designed and built by Stellar, which overcame several building complexities to complete the project quickly and under budget. Here are five lessons companies can learn from Caspers’ new refrigerated distribution facility.
Sep 20, 2018
The organic food market is no longer a fringe segment, and Big Food is paying attention. Sales of organic products totaled a record $45.2 billion in 2017, according to the Organic Trade Association (OTA) — and it shows no signs of slowing down.
It’s a trend food and beverage manufacturers can’t ignore, but exactly what segments are growing? And which aren’t? Let’s look at the top-selling organic products from last year.
Understanding the trends and food preferences of the Post-Millennials
Sep 13, 2018
We’ve been talking about Millennials for years, and rightfully so: They are an influential subset of the population (those born between 1981 and 1996) who have significant buying power today.
However, in addition to considering the factors of today, the most successful food and beverage companies look ahead to prepare for the customers of tomorrow. Enter: Generation Z.
Sep 6, 2018
What is packaged refrigeration?
Low-charge packaged refrigeration systems are “packaged” or “modular.” The refrigeration equipment is built off site, mounted on a structural steel base (skid), and then delivered to your plant as a self-contained, “plug-and-play” system.
Not only is low-charge packaged refrigeration equipment safer, it also comes with advantages in terms of:
- Field labor savings
- Schedule savings
Aug 30, 2018
Low-charge packaged refrigeration is a safe, innovative solution that uses CO2 or ammonia and a secondary refrigerant, such as glycol. This allows facilities to reap the benefits of ammonia’s excellent thermodynamic properties while minimizing the refrigerant charge and risk because the ammonia is isolated to one area and only the secondary refrigerant is circulated throughout the facility.
The system is “packaged” or “modular,” with refrigeration equipment built off-site, mounted on a structural steel base, and then delivered to a plant as a self-contained, “plug-and-play” system.
One of the major advantages of a packaged refrigeration system is ease of installation. Here are some of the main reasons why:
Aug 23, 2018
Photography: Robert Pepple
When Starbucks engaged Stellar to design and build a soluble coffee manufacturing facility, they set the goal of creating the most functionally and technologically advanced plant in the United States. To say they achieved that objective might be an understatement, as the award-winning facility has set a new standard in the industry.
From food safety practices that adhere to the rigorous British Retail Consortium Food Safety Standard to features designed to meet LEED Gold certification requirements, the Starbucks soluble coffee plant in Augusta, Georgia, is a modern marvel. Nowhere are the facility’s many innovations more on display than on its processing and packaging line.
Aug 16, 2018
Photography: Robert Pepple
In response to the growing demand for home-brewed instant coffee that delivers true “coffee shop” flavor, Starbucks came to Stellar wanting to build a unique soluble coffee plant. The award-winning facility in Augusta, Georgia, was designed to produce the company’s VIA® instant coffee products, and it’s cutting-edge in every sense of the word.
Among the plant’s many innovations, food safety was a top priority. There are several lessons food and beverage manufacturers can learn from how Starbucks addressed this critical issue.