Columns

Time to turn on a dime

November 1, 2008
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+


I have always been a comparison price shopper when it comes to clothing, fixing up the house or purchasing a car. As gasoline prices rose during the past year, I, like everyone else in America, loudly complained. But I did not cut corners elsewhere in my personal spending. I rationalized the extra expense as the necessary means to get to the office every day and stay employed.

But what is it about the latest economic environment that now has me keeping a more watchful eye on the food bill? At the supermarket, I used to rationalize price increases the same way I looked at gasoline: We must eat to survive. As any normal shopper does, I always take advantage of specials or buy two, get one free offers. But in many instances, only the favorite brand will do.

According to an October 2008 Clear Seas Research CLEARpulse survey, food and beverage industry insiders are concerned about the impact of the current credit crisis on their companies and the industry as a whole. Seventy-four percent of those surveyed anticipate a moderate to great impact on their company’s business and operations.

These same respondents expect the foodservice segment to be most negatively impacted by current economic conditions, while meat, poultry and seafood are also expected to struggle. According to one respondent, “Value and careful targeting will be more critical than ever. Consumers are still buying, but they are looking for a deal. We expect this will continue to result in channel-switching.”

I have been drinking the same brand of diet carbonated beverage for more than 20 years. One can a day, every morning. After a painful look at my 401k, I finally decided to make some cuts in personal spending and look for a deal. I bought the opposing brand of carbonated beverage for the first time because it was on sale. I’m never going to make that mistake again.

While pundits and polls herald the growth of deep-discounted retailers and low-cost brands in times of recession, I am one consumer who’d rather drink tap water than switch brands. Unlike many Americans, I guess I have not hit rock bottom. At least, not yet.

The key lesson for manufacturers is stay flexible. The economy has probably not hit rock bottom yet either, and now more than ever, you must turn on a dime to stay competitive.

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

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

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Plant of the Year 2014

Blue Diamond Growers was chosen as Food Engineering's 2014 Plant of the Year. The Sacramento-based company is the world’s largest producer of almonds and almond ingredients.

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

TYSON FOODS

Tyson Foods made headlines announcing the company intends to acquire Hillshire Brands in a deal valued at $8.55 billion. Do you think the acquisition will be beneficial for meat and poultry processors?
View Results Poll Archive

Food Engineering

July 2014

2014 July

The July 2014 issue of Food Engineering features the 12th Annual Replacement Parts Survey. Also covered: OEE improvement steps and increased filtration cycle.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

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.

Food Master

Food Master Cover 2014Food Master 2014 is now available!

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

Visit www.foodmaster.com to learn more.

STAY CONNECTED

FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +