The Food Industry Is Being Disrupted. What Should You Do About It?

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The Food Industry is Being Disrupted. What Should You Do About It?

The food industry is in the eye of a hurricane named Disruption.

Sweeping consolidation has turned the traditional food industry on its head, leaving major companies like Heinz, Kraft and Unilever feeling under siege. Other major players are working to “redefine” themselves before they become acquisition targets. Taste preferences have evolved and weekday sit-down meals are no longer a mainstay as families are increasingly on-the-go. Therefore, convenience is the name of the game.

Big companies are being challenged by upstart brands: Chobani challenged Yoplait and Dannon, long-time leaders in the yogurt market, and KIND bars have become one of the fastest-selling snack bars on Amazon. Neither company existed at the beginning of the 21st Century! Is the “slow and steady wins the race” mantra of the food industry on the way out?

 

Millennials and Mergers: How Food Manufacturers Should Respond to the Changing Food Industry

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Millennials and Mergers: How Food Manufacturers Should Respond to the Changing Food Industry

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.

 

New Year, New Tech: Food Industry Trends to Watch in 2018

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New Year, New Tech: Food Industry Trends to Watch in 2018

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.

 

4 Food Plant Design and Construction Trends from 2017 That are Shaping the Industry

What you need to know about retrofitting an existing facility, mergers & acquisitions, OEM integrations and more

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Food Plant Design and Construction: 5 Trends We Learned From in 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.

 

Food Plant Emergency Response: What to Do After a Hurricane

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Food Plant Emergency Response: What to Do After a Hurricane

Hurricane Irma (photo source: ABC News)

 

The state of Florida, the Caribbean and portions of the Southeastern U.S. are reeling from the impact of Hurricane Irma this week. The deadly storm brought damaging winds and torrential rain to the entire Sunshine State, including our headquarters in Jacksonville.

We’re now more than halfway through the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, and with more than 11,000 food and beverage manufacturing plants in hurricane-susceptible states on the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, it’s critical to plan for the damage a hurricane can bring.

 

Food Plant Emergency Response: Preparing for a Hurricane

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Food Plant Emergency Response: Preparing for a Hurricane

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.

 

3 Challenges Facing Today’s Coffee Producers (and How to Solve Them)

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Coffee continues to be one of the most rapidly evolving markets in the food and beverage industry. Variety in flavor options and the growing popularity of cold brew coffee are just a few of the latest market trends.

Consumer preferences and tastes are constantly changing, and to meet market demand while remaining profitable, producers need greater control over their processing and packaging systems.

 

6 Essential Qualities to Look for in a Strategic Planning Consultant

Strategic planning for food processors series

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6 Essential Qualities to Look for in a Strategic Planning Consultant

A strategic plan is a roadmap that defines the future of your business. That roadmap is crucial to your company’s success down the road, but creating one is a heavy undertaking. Food processors are already pressed for time with day-to-day tasks, and dedicating time and resources to plan for the future may not be feasible.

 

Strategic Planning for Food Processors: 4 Elements Your Business Plan Must Address

Questions to answer when building your business plan

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Strategic Planning for Food Processors: 4 Elements Your Business Plan Must Address

Does your food processing company have a strategic plan? Failing to plan is planning to fail—especially when it comes to your business. Earlier this year, Stellar hosted the Food Engineering webinar, 3 Key Elements in a Successful Strategic Plan for Growth. That webinar is now available on-demand, so you can still catch up on our discussion about how strategic planning can benefit food manufacturing plants, and how you can get started with developing your own strategic plan.

 

Gluten-Free Manufacturing: How to Capitalize on the Market’s Growth Opportunities

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Gluten-Free Manufacturing: How to Capitalize on the Market’s Growth Opportunities

Last week, we explored how to overcome four common bakery challenges for implementing gluten-free products into your offerings. As the IBIE Baking Expo kicks off this weekend, we’ll continue exploring the growth of the gluten-free market and how bakeries can safely integrate these niche products into their facilities.