Feb 22, 2018
Mergers and acquisitions are a driving force in the food industry today. Plus, a growing middle class and the millennial population are less brand loyal than previous generations, leading to a surge in store brands. What does this mean for food manufacturers? How should they respond?
Acknowledge that the next generation is changing the food game
We can’t rely on what we used to know about how consumers make purchasing decisions. “That’s what we’ve always done” is no longer a valid justification in today’s food and beverage market.
Dec 21, 2017
Believe it or not, 2018 is just around the corner. A lot happened in the food industry in 2017, including groundbreaking mergers like the Amazon-Whole Foods deal, the first major compliance deadlines for Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules and the dawn of a new presidential administration.
We know the food industry doesn’t slow down, so what should you keep an eye on as we venture into the new year? Here are some of my top trends to watch in 2018.
What you need to know about retrofitting an existing facility, mergers & acquisitions, OEM integrations and more
Dec 14, 2017
This year was characterized by continued change and disruption in the ever-evolving food and beverage industry from a record-breaking hurricane season to the Amazon-Whole Foods merger.
As a design-build firm specializing in food and beverage plants, we at Stellar observed some notable trends in 2017 that are shaping the way facilities operate and the way companies in the industry do business.
As we approach the new year, here are a few of my reflections and takeaways from the past year in the food and beverage industry.
Sep 7, 2017
Hurricane Harvey from NOAA’s GOES-16 satellite
We’re only midway through the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, and it has already been an active one.
Last month, Hurricane Harvey became the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Wilma in 2005. The historic storm dumped more than 40 inches of rainfall in southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana, breaking records and becoming the wettest tropical cyclone on record in the contiguous U.S.
This week, the state of Florida is preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Irma, and food and beverage facilities are making plans to ensure safety and minimize damage.
Aug 24, 2017
So you’re building a new food manufacturing facility, or maybe you’re revamping your current processing lines. Either way, the equipment design phase is critical to the timeline of your project and the success of your plant.
Efficient and effective design meetings play a huge role in ensuring your schedule doesn’t stall and that the best decisions are made. I’ve seen how poorly run meetings can hamper the equipment design process — not only does it make life more difficult for the firm you’re partnering with, but it can create headaches for your internal team as well.
Jul 20, 2017
Quality assurance is one key to a successful food safety audit
Process Safety Management (PSM) compliance audits are specific and comprehensive, focusing on 14 elements of OSHA’s PSM Standards. A well-planned and organized audit process — including cross-trained personnel, audit checklists and self-audits — can help ensure a successful outcome.
May 25, 2017
Developing a manufacturing plan is generally the second phase in the strategic planning process. After creating a business plan and specifying your food processing plant’s sales and growth projections, a manufacturing plan will identify and assess the processes that are used to manufacture the product to meet those sales goals.
Mar 9, 2017
When Royal Cup first sat down with Stellar to discuss its expansion project, it had bold aspirations and high expectations. The Birmingham-based importer and roaster of specialty coffees and fine teas decided to invest in cutting-edge manufacturing updates to keep pace with its growing consumer base and sales.
“To do a project of this magnitude, you really need to have an expert here involved on the day-to-day, with their fingers in the project,” said Bill Smith, Royal Cup’s president.
Common misconceptions, the importance of objectivity and what to do if you’re on the fence
Mar 2, 2017
You’ve likely heard of a facility assessment before. It’s a top-to-bottom check-up for your food or beverage plant that can optimize energy usage, improve food safety, minimize risks and save money. But I’ve also heard from people who have their doubts.
Isn’t it just an embarrassing and awkward critique by an auditor? How is it different than if our own staff analyzes our facility? Do I really need an assessment if the plant is running fine?
Jan 26, 2017
In our industry, the best project outcomes require a great deal of planning. When it comes to greenfield and renovation projects, that means formulating a manufacturing analysis and a strategic plan. Before investing in any changes, however, a crucial step is understanding the status quo:
- How is your facility performing?
- How efficient is your processing?
- What can be optimized?
A comprehensive facility assessment can answer these questions and more.