Mar 1, 2018
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?
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.
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.
[Webinar Takeaways] Key Takeaways for a Successful Strategic Plan for Growth
Jun 30, 2016
As Henry Kissinger said, “If you don’t know where you are going, every road will get you nowhere.” But how do we develop an effective roadmap when the industry is in a state of transformation? During our Food Engineering webinar last week, co-host Diane Wolf and I discussed the importance of a strategic plan when preparing for your food manufacturing business’ future.
Jun 23, 2016
Did you tune in to our Food Engineering webinar today? We discussed why strategic plans are important to your facility’s growth, and what information makes them effective.
Best practices for a well-rounded strategic plan
Jun 16, 2016
If your roadmap is wrong, you’ll get lost. Ensuring your company’s roadmap—or strategic plan—embodies best practices is essential for your business’ future. With a three-to-five-year plan, there are several moving parts you must consider. Here, we review crucial elements your strategic plan must include, providing a downloadable checklist for you to use for your own plan.