Jun 17, 2021
Building anything right now can be daunting and expensive, much less a large industrial facility. In some cases, construction projects are costing anywhere from 25% to 50% more than previous years. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the cost of construction materials has skyrocketed, labor is scarce and demand is surging. But that doesn’t mean the food supply chain can stop.
Food manufacturers and distributors still have customers to serve — and, for some, that still means investing in a new facility. At a time when construction costs are high, a company might make up for it in savings by reconsidering where the facility is built.
Mar 25, 2021
In a recent post, I summarized the new traceability requirements recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The proposed rule would require additional recordkeeping for those who manufacture, process, pack or store foods included on the FDA’s new Food Traceability List.
The thought of new government regulations can often elicit groans from manufacturers, but rather than view this as another hoop to jump through, food and beverage companies should take a long view: It’s really an opportunity to improve product quality, boost efficiency and reduce manufacturing costs.
Jul 23, 2020
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasted a 60% chance of an above-normal season this year, with 13 to 19 named storms (tropical storms and hurricanes with wind speeds of at least 39 mph), six to ten hurricanes (category 1 or higher with winds of at least 74 mph) and three to six major hurricanes (category 3 or higher with winds of 111 mph or higher).
The average season produces 12 named storms, with six hurricanes and three major hurricanes. This year’s hurricane season already set a record for the earliest fifth named storm ever when Tropical Storm Edouard formed almost two months earlier than the average fifth named storm.
While we have all been preoccupied trying to stay out of the path of the global pandemic, that doesn’t mean we should put off planning for a major storm that could threaten your food or beverage facility’s operation. In fact, COVID-19 is going to present an entirely new dynamic to hurricane preparedness and evacuation plans as people try to uphold social distancing.
Sep 26, 2019
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 to this disruption in the industry?
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.
Aug 1, 2019
Image source: NOAA
Regardless of how active or inactive a particular hurricane season is predicted to be, it only takes one storm to significantly damage your food plant or cold storage warehouse.
Here are some basic steps to prepare your facility for a hurricane:
Jan 10, 2019
By now, we’ve all realized the reality of today’s internet-connected world: Smart devices aren’t just in our pockets and in our homes. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is revolutionizing the food and beverage industry.
We’re seeing more connected sensors, motors and controllers on the plant floor than ever before, and they’re being used in innovative new ways to optimize processing and inform operations decisions.
There are four main areas of a food plant where IIoT technology is having a major impact:
Nov 29, 2018
The demand for healthy and convenient ready-to-eat (RTE) food is on the rise. Already the largest segment in the overall conventional and non-conventional food industry, the RTE food market is forecasted to grow at a 21.8-percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2018 and 2023.
Many consumers today want foods that are both convenient and healthy, foods that require little to no preparation and that are natural, organic, non-GMO and more. So how can RTE food manufacturers prepare their facilities for this growing demand? Let’s explore some important considerations as these companies look to the future.
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.
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.