Healthy outlook for food and beverage companies
Of the 1,601 respondents included in the final survey analysis, 124 companies (about 12 percent of the total sample) represent the food and beverage industry.
Ninety-one percent of food and beverage respondents report being very or somewhat optimistic about growth prospects for their companies, a 20 percent increase from the 2009 survey. Ninety-one percent of the food and beverage companies responding are privately held; 37 percent are manufacturing only, 31 percent are distribution only and 40 percent have a combination of manufacturing and distribution activities.
The survey also found:
- When compared to all industries, food and beverage companies are more aggressive about introducing new products and analyzing customer/product profitability.
- The percentage of food and beverage companies that say working globally is part of their business strategy increased from 64 percent in 2009 to 75 percent in this year’s study.
- This year, 16 percent of food and beverage companies say they will invest $10 million or more in capital projects (up 10 percent from 2009).
- Two-thirds of the respondents expect price jumps in raw materials and energy.
Because food and beverage companies weathered the recession better than most industries, their hiring needs over the next year are not so great. However, companies that are hiring are seeing skill shortages for entry-level, supervisory, quality control, sales and warehouse workers.
“The emphasis on introducing new products and analyzing customer/product profitability reflects the critical balance food and beverage companies must strike between developing profitable products to meet fast-changing consumer tastes while accurately forecasting sales,” says Cristin Singer, RSM McGladrey partner/managing director.For more information and to download the report, visit McGladrey’s website.
FDA's Reportable Food Registry off to great start
A report summarizing the Registry’s first seven months of operation (September 2009 -March 2010) finds that it logged 125 primary reports-initial reports about a safety concern with a food or animal feed (including food ingredients)-and 1,638 subsequent reports from suppliers or recipients of a food or feed for which a primary report had been submitted from both domestic and foreign sources.
Two notable reports first identified through the registry prompted the following:
- A February 2010 recall of hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) without any report of illness-More than 1,000 industry reports specifically for products containing HVP resulted in the removal of 177 products from commerce.
- A November 2009 recall of products containing sulfites but not labeled as such-More than 100 reports regarding the inadvertent use of an ingredient containing sulfites in two nationally distributed prepared side dishes that were not labeled as containing sulfites resulted in their removal without any reports of illness.
Among the 125 primary reports, Salmonella accounted for 37 percent of hazards, undeclared allergens or intolerances accounted for 35 percent and Listeria monocytogenes accounted for 13 percent. Among the 11 different commodity categories involved were: 14 animal feed or pet food, 12 seafood, 11 spices and seasonings and 10 dairy products.“Industry is increasingly detecting contamination incidents through its own testing, and FDA access to this information permits us to better target our inspection resources and verify that appropriate corrective measures have been taken,” says Michael R. Taylor, FDA deputy commissioner for foods. “Ensuring that the American food supply is safe is a top priority of the FDA, and the Reportable Food Registry strengthens our ability to help prevent foodborne illness.”
Help with funding for food and agricultural exporters
Exporters of food and agricultural products can take advantage of this momentum. The four non-profit State Regional Trade Groups (SRTGs) will accept applications for the 2011 Branded Program, a reimbursement program designed to help small businesses offset the costs of promoting their food and agricultural products overseas.
The Branded Program can reimburse US companies up to half of their international marketing expenses for items such as advertising, traveling and exhibiting at international trade shows, in-store promotions, changes to labels and packaging, and more. Program participants must be businesses classified as small according to Small Business Administration guidelines or agricultural cooperatives. Products eligible for Branded Program promotion must contain at least 50 percent US agricultural ingredients and be labeled as “Product of the USA.”
To apply, companies can submit a pre-qualification worksheet to the SRTG that serves the region where they are headquartered.
For more information, see the table below.
|Midwestern states||Food Export Association of the Midwest USA||Web; Joe Yotti, 312-334-9200|
|Northeastern states||Food Export USA - Northeast||Web; Antoniya Gospodinova, 215-829-9111|
|Southern states||Southern US Trade Association (SUSTA)||Web; Deneen Wiltz, 504-568-5986|
|Western states||Western US Agricultural Trade Association (WUSATA)||Web; Ann Buczkowski, 360-693-3373|
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