When one of Weetabix's private label customers wanted the company to produce sugarcoated flakes, Weetabix decided it was time to enter the world of automation. A multinational company headquartered in the UK, Weetabix manufactures its own brands of cereal (Weetabix and Alpen) and processes recipes for nearly 100 brands of cereals for the Canadian, American and British markets. Specifically, the company wanted to automate its material handling processes at its Cobourg, Ontario plant. The existing method was a laborious process-workers lifted extremely heavy sacks filled with granulated sugar and poured them into a blender.
More than one-third of Americans use complementary and alternative medicine, according to a 2004 study by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a division of the National Institutes of Health. Of these, 19 percent used natural products such as herbs, botanicals and enzymes. Increasingly, market research and NIH studies show that consumers are turning to these products in the form of herbal teas or infusions in order to maintain good health, improve metabolism or increase resistance to the common cold or flu.