Food Focus: Current Events & Trends in the Food Industry

food allergies

So you’re concerned about efficiency and maintenance as a food manufacturer…

Good news! You’re not alone. According to the 2019 Food Engineering State of Food Manufacturing survey, 37% of its food and beverage manufacturing respondents stated that efficiency/maintenance/new equipment is their number one concern – overtaking automation from previous years. Better news! We’ve rounded up some of the best tips for tackling this concern with ease. See them below.

Here are 3 tips for tackling the food manufacturing efficiency and maintenance challenges…

  1. Conserve: Conserving energy, water, and time translates into boosting efficiency (and your profits, if it’s done right).
    • Conserve energy: Incorporate natural light into your facility to reduce the number of light fixtures you need and for the light fixtures you do need, use long-lasting LED bulbs that use less power and last longer (like, years longer) than fluorescent or incandescent bulbs. You can also make your refrigeration units more efficient by moving any heat-generating equipment away from the refrigerators…Read more
food allergies

What Does “Sustainable” Really Mean for Food Manufacturers?

(Among other food manufacturing trends)

Sustainability is among one of the major trends currently impacting the food industry but what does it mean for you as a food manufacturer?

Here’s the thing, sustainable food isn’t only about the food  it also pertains to how the food is produced, distributed, packaged and consumed. That means, for food to be “sustainable,” it must come from a supply chain with sustainable farming practices, with a low environmental impact, where animal welfare was upheld, that protects public health and that involves good employment practices and community support.

Where This Trend Is Coming From

With 66% of consumers happy to spend more money on products and brands that are committed to environmentally friendly practices and 73% of global Millennials willing to pay more for sustainable products, consumer demand for sustainable food is continuing to rise. Just as every trend starts somewhere and builds momentum with more and more buy-in from various key players, the sustainable food trend was born out of necessity and has grown with the commitment of governments and various organizations…Read more

food allergies

Three Food Safety Tips You May Not Have Heard

Food safety is of the utmost importance to food manufacturers. And yet, each year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 48 million people in the United States get sick from contaminated food. So, how do you avoid being part of the statistic? Here are three food safety tips you may not have heard

1.    Protect From The Ground Up

Everything affects food safety in a food manufacturing facility, and your floor is no exception. In fact, “the use of fluid-applied resinous flooring can help ease the burden on several fronts by enhancing sanitation efficiency [and] supporting contamination control protocols.” Example? Glad you asked! By choosing a smooth, non-porous surface free of grout lines, you can avoid the potential contamination risk seams and joints pose by being optimal breeding ground (no pun intended) for microbes. Plus, they’re really hard – perhaps even impossible – to clean and sanitize to the necessary standards for food safety…Read more

food allergies

How Do I Manage Food Allergies Within Food Processing?

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, peanut allergies in children have increased by 21% since 2010. Additionally, eight foods are the cause of 90% of allergic reactions: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish. Because of these growing allergies, food manufacturers face the ever-growing challenge of properly preparing and labeling their food products. In fact, poor and inaccurate labeling causes nut-allergic people to take 40% longer to shop and undeclared allergens were the leading cause of recalls in 2012. Based on these statistics, it’s clear that food allergies are a growing public health concern that food processors must act on. So, how do you manage food allergies within food processing? Other than standardized labeling and verifying the cleanliness of processing lines after products containing allergens are handles, you manage food allergies within food processing with the following three techniques.

1.     Supply Chain Control

In order to accurately assess the risk of your product, you must have the correct raw material information… Read more

food trends

The Current State (Or Plate) Of Food – Fast Facts

The food industry is constantly changing and to be successful in the food manufacturing industry, you have to stay abreast of the trends. To help with that, here is your cheat sheet of fast facts as to the current state (or plate) of food.

food trends

Sustainability & Food Packaging – What Food Manufacturers Need to Know

As the demand for sustainability continues to grow in the food industry, it’s no surprise that it has now expanded into food packaging. In fact, according to the Nielsen Global Corporate Sustainability Report, 66% of consumers will pay more for products from sustainable brands and 73% will actually pay more for sustainable products – and food packaging is no exception.

What does this mean for you as a food manufacturer?

While consumers are becoming more health conscious, their desire to be environmentally-friendly has grown, too. For consumers, this means seeking out healthier food options in sustainable packaging. But what does it mean for you as a food manufacturer?…Read more

food trends

Capitalizing on the Organic Food Trend (With An ERP System for Food Manufacturers)

The Organic Food Trend

Do you produce organic fruits and/or vegetables? Do you want to capitalize on the monetary benefits of this ever-growing consumer trend? With the trend towards organic continuing to grow and with strict USDA standards as to being certified organic, food traceability is a must to not lose out on the monetary benefits of capitalizing on a trend that’s here to stay.

With USDA’s definition of organic agriculture, organic crop producers must use practices aimed at maintaining or improving the physical, chemical, and biological condition of soil, minimizing soil erosion, and accommodating an animal’s natural nutritional and behavioral requirements, thus increasing organic farm production costs. As of 2002, the national organic standard set by USDA requires organic farmers, processors and handlers to be certified by a state or private organization accredited by USDA…Read more

food trends

Consumer Food Trends: Leverage These Trends into an Upward Growth Trend for Your Business

How do you stay relevant in a food industry where the consumer demand is constantly shifting regarding what it is they’re demanding? You stay on trend while staying within your niche. To help you stay on trend, here are six of the most recent food trends you can leverage into a growth trend for your business:

The Plant-Based Plan

Within the past year, U.S. retail sales of plant-based foods increased 17%. When it comes to claiming the plant-based diet as a trend, enough said. But, in case you’re not yet convinced, here are some more enlightening facts: in the past year U.S. sales of plant-based meat alternatives were up 23%, plant-based creamers were up 62%, plant-based yogurts were up 54%, plant-based cheeses were up 41% and plant-based ice creams were up 40%…Read more

Food Safety Modernization Act and You

The Food Safety Modernization Act and You (and Your ERP Software)

The Food Safety Modernization Act

Did you know the there are new rules to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) being implemented this year and next? If not, don’t worry – we’re here to keep you informed. If so, we’re still here to help you comply with the new standards.

Although the FSMA was signed into law back in 2011, some of its rules went into effect last year with more to come this year for small farms and food handling facilities.

The two newer rules are the produce rule and the preventative controls rule. The produce rule applies to businesses that grow or otherwise handle fruits or vegetables before they are sold to consumers. To comply with this rule, you must keep specific records about how your food products are grown and handled and then make those records available to the FDA…Read more

food waste

5 Ways To Reduce Food Waste and Increase Profits in Food Manufacturing

In the US, food and beverage manufacturing accounts for $126 billion of the economy. While that’s a massive number, getting a piece of these profits can be massively difficult. So, what can food manufacturers do boost their profits? Reduce waste. And how can food manufacturers reduce waste? With the following five methods.

1.    Package For a Longer Lifespan

By choosing packaging that can help increase the lifespan of your product, you can reduce the amount of product wasted. Some packaging options available to you are modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), skin pack, and controlled atmosphere packaging (CAP). MAP prolongs the shelf life of the product by minimizing the potential microbial growth through displacing regular air for low-oxygen gases. Skin pack also prolongs the shelf-life of poultry by using vacuum packing to seal the meat. Finally, CAP prolongs storage times of products with the addition of oxygen absorbers to regulate the temperature and humidity of a product. While each of these packaging methods is a bit different than the last, they all reduce the possibility of spoiled product…Read More

Freight Costs and the Food Industry

Hurricanes & Freight:

How Natural Disasters Affect Freight Costs & The Food Industry

As the effects of Hurricanes Florence and Michael are still being felt, their reach goes beyond the local area as they leave consequences felt across the country in their wake. While Credit Suisse research analyst Robert Moskow reports natural disasters such as Hurricane Florence tend to have a net positive effect on processed foods companies’ sales trends due to consumers stocking up on supplies, distribution costs tend to increase as food processors must scramble amidst a tight supply environment to get truck drivers. Therefore, Florence and Michael could cause spot prices for freight to spike and could shape contract rates for next year.

These increased rates are due to increased fuel prices, fewer trucks on the road, damaged infrastructures, reallocated resources to respond to the emergency at hand, and an overall low supply and high demand. Just last year we saw these consequences after Hurricane Harvey hit and affected nearly 10% of the entire US trucking industry while also increasing gas prices nationwide by 15%+ due to its destruction of some of the major petroleum production bases. With Hurricane Florence, we saw devastation along the mid-Atlantic coast due to shut down ports, railroads, and interstate highways. And, with Hurricane Michael, we experienced blocked and closed roads along the Florida Panhandle and the shut down of some logistics facilities directly in its path…Read More

Food tariffs piggy bank

Food Tariffs and Effects:

Why Saving Money Is More Important Than Ever For Food Manufacturers And How Your ERP Software Can Help

Are you concerned about the food tariffs being placed on various items? Will your company be affected? Are you at a loss for what to do? If so, you’re not alone as 1.6 million people work in the targeted industries with three-quarters of those affected in farming, fishing and food-related manufacturing. In July, the Trump administration proposed a 10% duty on a wide range of imports from China. These tariffs could increase to 25% and if they do hit American-caught or raised seafood that’s being processed in China, profits for fisheries and aquaculture operations will most likely plummet. For Pacific Northwest seafood being imported to China, this added cost is no longer a matter of “if” as Beijing responded to the Trump administration’s move to implement extra levies on Chinese goods with a 25% tariff of their own on Pacific Northwest seafood, including Alaskan fish. The Chinese response didn’t just include seafood, they also imposed tariffs on multiple agricultural products including specific fruits, vegetables, grains and more ranging from 15-25%. But new tariffs aren’t only coming from China. In response to the U.S. imposition of steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports worldwide, Canada, the EU, Mexico and Turkey imposed tariffs on a variety of U.S. goods including food products such as cucumbers, corn, cranberries, apples and other fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. With the added costs these tariffs bring, food manufacturers can’t afford to waste time, money, or resources…Read More