Columns

Food industry retains its resiliency in times of turmoil



For many people and most corporations around the world, 2009 has been one for the record books. Business downturns, huge unemployment rolls and the banking market mess are just a few of the economic headaches we all endured.

While business may be lackluster in nearly all sectors, the food and beverage industry has much to be happy about. For example, take a look at the PACK EXPO/PROCESS EXPO trade show held in Las Vegas last month. More than half of the attendees were buyers of food and beverage machinery, materials and services. During a financially disastrous year, attendance at this show was down slightly compared to 2007. In my book, that’s a triumph.

Food Engineering research shows that average capital budget increases for food and beverage processing, packaging and process control equipment and automation software and hardware are up about one percent. That’s another cause for celebration.  While far from the five to eight percent budget increases the average processing plant enjoyed in recent years, at least our industry has not experienced massive cuts in manufacturing operations.

Another reason our industry can be proud is the renewed interest in reducing national obesity levels. Last month, Kellogg’s announced a $20 million commitment to help fight obesity via the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation. Other participants include Kraft Foods, ConAgra Foods, Coca-Cola and Unilever. In addition, major processors such as Campbell Soup, PepsiCo, General Mills and Sara Lee are working to make their products more health-conscious as well.

As the obesity battle rages on, is it fair to put a tax on soda and junk foods? I think not. A renewed commitment to healthier formulations and increased consumer education on nutrition and exercise is the right thing to do.

Yes, it has been a tough year on many levels. But because of the hallmark operational modes of food and beverage processing-innovation, continuous improvement and lean manufacturing-it continues to maintain resiliency in times of turmoil.  

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

Recent Articles by Joyce Fassl, Editor-in-Chief

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Food Engineering's Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference and Expo 2015

Images from Food Engineering's Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference and Expo in Clearwater Beach, Florida, April 12-15, 2015. The event brought food and beverage processors and suppliers together to gain valuable information on the latest trends and technologies in manufacturing, automation, sustainability and food safety.

Podcasts

Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

Food Engineering

Food Engineering May 2015 Cover

2015 May

The May 2015 issue of Food Engineering explores effective tools for hitting manufacturing targets. Also, read how processors are looking for faster ways to detect harmful pathogens in food and beverages without sacrificing accuracy or reliability.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Plant Facility/Site Issues

What issue about your current plant facility/site keeps you up the most at night?
View Results Poll Archive

THE FOOD ENGINEERING STORE

Food-Authentication-Flyer-(.gif
Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

STAY CONNECTED

FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +

Food Master

Food Engineering Food Master 2015Food Master 2015 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit www.foodmaster.com to learn more.