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.
Apr 4, 2019
Augmented reality (AR) is a powerful tool on Stellar’s job sites. Today’s AR technology is revolutionizing the way we design and build facilities, making construction projects more efficient and ultimately saving owners time and money.
Stellar leverages augmented reality in three major ways:
Mar 28, 2019
In recent years, more food and beverage companies have adopted a different perspective on decision-making. Rather than having one person making unilateral decisions, many businesses have shifted toward a “decision-by-committee” approach, where a small group of stakeholders are part of the process.
This trend is especially prevalent in larger companies that are adopting a more inclusive corporate culture. The goal is to foster greater pride and buy-in from employees by including diverse perspectives in decisions that affect them.
For example, I recently worked with several owners who utilized the decision-by-committee approach when Stellar was building their new food plant. These facilities are multimillion-dollar investments, and these leaders increasingly want to seek input from their employees who will be working in the facility and with the equipment every day.
Mar 21, 2019
The economy is thriving, the labor market is competitive and disruptive innovation is shaping the present and future of the food industry. Food plant owners are always looking for cost savings, especially in today’s fast-paced market. Could your packaging be a ripe opportunity?
Let’s look at a few considerations for optimizing your packaging process.
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.
How to avoid the biggest cause of food recalls in 2017
Apr 26, 2018
There were a total of 440 recalls of FDA and USDA regulated food products in 2017.
The single leading cause of recalls last year? The presence of undeclared allergens and the misbranding of products.
A total of 218 recalls (nearly half of the total) were announced because a product contained ingredients that weren’t declared on the label, such as:
Apr 19, 2018
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 are your processes?
- What can be optimized?
A comprehensive facility assessment can answer these questions and more.
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?
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.