Wraparound or RSC Packaging? How Case Design Can Impact Your Bottom Line

The accelerated expansion of e-commerce over the past five years paired with ongoing supply chain constraints have affected a crucial area of food and beverage processing: packaging.

The price of corrugated has been steadily increasing for years, but recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals a sharp spike in cost since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The cost of corrugated and solid fiber box manufacturing products reached an all-time high in February 2022.

In the face of significant price increases, owners must be strategic and intentional with material purchases and investments. This is the perfect time to reevaluate your facility’s current packaging process, including whether a change in case style could help optimize your process and save money.

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Should You Change Your Packaging to Meet Grocery Delivery Demand?

In the wake of COVID-19, online grocery delivery has taken off. According to the 2020 Food Packaging & Consumer Behavior Report, 61% of survey respondents said their purchasing habits acquired during the pandemic will influence the way they shop in the future, and 51% reported using third-party grocery delivery apps within the past three months.

In light of this trend, food manufacturers may have to adapt their packaging to meet the requirements of grocery delivery. Instead of packages being stretch-wrapped onto a pallet to be unloaded by grocery store workers, they’ll be boxed and sent directly to consumers’ doorsteps. 

That means outgoing packages must be sturdy enough to withstand the increased vibration and movement across a courier’s distribution chain. Some items may be shipped as is or they will have to be sent inside another shipping box padded with extra dunnage (air bags, crinkled paper, bubble wrap). Products packed in glass, cans or other rigid packaging may have to be rethought.

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Vertical Farming Can Bring Sustainability and Steadiness to the Supply Chain

As we explained in this previous post, vertical farming is a farming technique where crops are grown indoors in a laboratory-like, climate-controlled space. Instead of a crop being limited to geographical regions that provide the ideal growing conditions, vertical farmers can fine-tune the level of water, nutrients, humidity and temperature, as well as light frequency, duration and intensity to create the most ideal environment possible for the crop to grow.

A handful of rural conventional farms are the mega-producers that supply vast swathes of the country with fruits and vegetables, generally located far away from the urban and suburban areas where their crops are shipped to be made available to consumers. The shipping journey — often spanning thousands of miles of highway or open ocean — leads to large amounts of waste and product loss, in addition to creating a large carbon footprint. 

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Vertical Farming Could Bring the Farm to Your Block

Vertical farming is a soilless method of farming that takes place inside a climate-controlled, laboratory-like environment. Farmers are able to fine-tune indoor spaces to the crops they want to grow, instead of being limited to growing crops that a particular outdoor area can support. 

The ability to grow in-demand produce without the massive footprint of an outdoor farm, regardless of climate, has led to more vertical farming facilities in urban areas, where produce is grown, harvested and quickly shipped to retailers in the same city. This cuts down on product loss and shipping damage while increasing the shelf life and quality of produce once it hits the shelves.

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Considering the Plant-Based Protein Market? Process This First.

The plant-based foods category is diversifying as retail sales have continued to increase, even during the COVID-19 outbreakAccording to Euromonitor, the meat-substitute market is expected to reach $2.5 billion by 2023.

Such impressive numbers may have you wondering if you should try the tofu and look into entering this emerging market. Let’s lean on the “know before you go” adage and help you make an informed decision.

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Simulation Software: The Benefits for Food Plants

Digital transformation is taking over the food industry. From automation and artificial intelligence (AI) to real-time mobile reporting, companies are looking to invest in digital tools that improve efficiencies and reduce overhead. 

But with the wide variety of options available today, it can be difficult to decide which technological investment will keep your manufacturing facility ahead of the pack. 

Simulation software is one of the newest technological breakthroughs – one that can save up to millions of dollars for food companies when they are building or expanding their facilities. 

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Is RFID Worth It for Food Traceability?

While barcode tracking is the standard for supply chain traceability in the food industry, it’s not the only option. As RFID technology has advanced, many have asked if it’s worth the investment for food manufacturing and distribution.

RFID technology has its pros and cons. For example, it offers more functionality, but is typically more expensive, which is why it’s often reserved for products with a greater profit margin such as automobiles. So does it ever make sense for a food or beverage company?

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RFID vs. Barcodes: Advantages and Disadvantages for Food Traceability

Barcodes have long been the standard for tracking products throughout the food and beverage supply chain. But technological advancements have introduced RFID as another option across a variety of industries. What’s the difference?

What is RFID?

RFID, short for Radio Frequency Identification, is the use of radio frequency waves to wirelessly transfer data without contact. Tagging items with RFID tags allows users to automatically and uniquely identify and track inventory and assets.

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3 Ways to Leverage Predictive Analytics in Your Processing Facility

Food and beverage manufacturing has been one of the slower industries to adopt new technology. While machine learning and artificial intelligence may sound daunting, this technology offers a valuable return on investment.

Here are three major ways to benefit from big data tools in your processing plant.

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Maximizing Drone Technology on Food Plant Construction Sites [VIDEO]

Maximizing Drone Technology on Food Plant Construction Sites from Stellar on Vimeo.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones, are revolutionizing the way buildings are designed and constructed. Stellar leverages this technology on our job sites to make projects more efficient, accurate and cost-effective.

Here are some of the ways we utilize drones:

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