Just before this issue of Food Engineering hit the printing press, the food and beverage manufacturing community awoke one morning to hear the news that Kraft and Heinz are merging to form The Kraft Heinz Company. When completed later this year, the merger will create one of the largest food and beverage companies in the world.

When the two leading food manufacturers join forces, synergistic cost savings from the merger will likely be good news for investors but potentially bad news for staff members whose jobs will be lost due redundancy or the inevitable plant closings.

After some tough recession and post-recession years, most food and beverage manufacturers are refocused on capital projects to improve efficiency and food safety, as well as upgrading packaging and processing equipment, automation and controls to meet not only rising, but shifting, consumer demands.

But not all is well in the challenging world of increased food production output. According to recent industry surveys, some Food Engineering readers are concerned about merger and acquisition costs draining their capital equipment budgets. Despite prolonged periods of struggle to meet manufacturing goals, engineering and operations directors and plant managers carry on with their tasks. Pleasing consumers with safe, healthy, delicious, fresh-tasting and affordable food and beverages in sustainable packages made in energy-efficient plants is no easy feat. The goal may seem daunting, but food and beverage manufacturing professionals, as usual, are facing the challenges head on.

I wish the new food industry giant much success, but I also feel for those whose lives will be turned upside down. But that’s standard operating procedure for any corporate merger. Just as captains of industry do, corporate citizens should always be looking for the next better opportunity.