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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

Chemicals That Don't WERC

August 31, 2009 7:34 am | by Luke Simpson, Associate Editor, Chem.Info

The Sustainable Product Index that Walmart announced last month has everyone scrambling to figure out exactly what is involved in calculating a product’s carbon footprint. Eventually, the retail giant wants to label products with a sustainability rating.

Racking On The Brain

August 31, 2009 6:39 am | by John T. Phelan, Jr. P.E., COO, TriFactor LLC

Before selecting the storage medium for either a new distribution center or an existing facility, the first step is to analyze the products that will be handled. Whether it's 150-pound mattresses, cases of bottled water or 10,000-pound rolls of paper, the product determines the proper storage.

Going Nuts Over Innovation

August 28, 2009 5:56 am

If you walk down the streets of New York City, chances are you will pass carts selling an assortment of roasted nuts. For entrepreneurs Michael Mellace and Mike Ruggens, these small carts were the inspiration for a new business on the West Coast. With just one small roaster in tow, Mellace and Ruggens began selling roasted peanuts at small festivals in the San Diego area.

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Trust & Consequences

August 28, 2009 5:01 am | by Phyllis Entis, MSc., SM (NRCM)

Peanut butter probably killed Clifford Tousignant, a 78-year old Korean War veteran. It most likely killed Shirley Almer, and seven other people, too. These nine victims did not die as the result of a peanut allergy. They were infected with Salmonella Typhimurium.

Hawaiian Snack Food Maker Increases Output By 30 Percent

August 26, 2009 7:10 am

It was while watching an episode of the Food Network’s “Emeril Live” that James Chan, owner and founder of the Hawaiian Chip Company (Honolulu, Hawaii), was inspired to launch his own business. Watching celebrity chef, Emeril Lagasse, toil over taro chips, Chan believed that he could successfully market his own recipe for the snack.

Embracing The Role

August 26, 2009 6:07 am

One of the great American traditions is that of embracing the plight of the little guy, the underdog, the one with all the odds stacked against them. I think it’s because even in these seemingly impossible conditions they’re committed to doing whatever it takes and are unwilling to yield to theoretically superior opposition.

The Million Dollar Secret

August 25, 2009 6:32 am

Whether your business goals are to increase daily output, reduce costs, decrease the frequency of sanitation downtime, or implement extended runs, the pressure is on. The realities of today’s competitive food manufacturing industry, along with pressure from stakeholders, require business leaders to be more aggressive and creative with cost reduction initiatives.

Avoiding Innovation Crashes

August 25, 2009 5:46 am | by Karen Langhauser, Editor-in-Chief

I recently came across a BusinessWeek blog titled, “10 Worst Innovation Mistakes in a Recession.” The fact that we are in a recession means that we, as a country, may have already taken a few missteps on the financial front, so I figured I should read on to avoid making any more. Mistake number four on the list was, “Stop New Product Development.

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EPA - R.I.P.

August 24, 2009 5:03 am | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director, Food Manufacturing

One of the more interesting green developments in recent months has been Wal-Mart’s decision to initiate greater sustainability standards in the products they’ll purchase and re-sell.

Recycle/Reuse/Renew!

August 21, 2009 5:37 am

A major manufacturer of baked goods needed to upgrade their existing packaging system to accommodate the production rollout of a new cracker line. During short production runs of the new crackers for test market purposes, the company discovered leakage issues because the new crackers were thinner than their other products and could slip through the drop gates of their existing vibratory distribution conveyors.

Favre Retirement Recall

August 21, 2009 5:28 am | by Karen Langhauser, Editor-in-Chief

In ten years, when Brett Favre finally retires for real and someone asks “where were you when you first heard the news about Favre and the Vikings?” I can proudly say I was right in the heart of Cheesehead territory. As luck would have it, I happened to be attending Dorner Mfg.

Dried Foods Company Turns Time into Money

August 19, 2009 10:23 am

Culinary Farms changes measurement equipment, cutting hours off production time. In today’s society, time is money, and multitasking is a job requirement. Especially when the task requires utmost precision, quality cannot be sacrificed for time, and the prospect of expediting processes seems unattainable.

Private Label Foods Prevail in Recession

August 19, 2009 10:00 am | by Steve Simonson, Tompkins Associates

Consumers are moving private label food and beverage products to the front of the cupboard Steve Simonson, Tompkins Associates Every week, there are news reports and blog chatterings about how consumers are "trading down" to private brands in this difficult economy. The growth of private labels has been interesting to watch.

An 848-Mile Golf Course & No Interruptions

August 18, 2009 5:11 am | by Luke Simpson, Associate Editor, Chem.Info

Golf courses around the world pride themselves on designs that stimulate players’ senses as much as they challenge their skills. But a group in Australia has taken this concept to the next level, spreading 18 holes across 848 miles in small outback towns that have beautiful scenery and white sandy beaches, but previously lacked that one-of-a-kind tourist draw card.

Better Profits With A Sense Of Urgency

August 17, 2009 12:45 pm | by Woodruff Imberman, Ph.D, Imberman and DeForest, Inc.

Many food processors need to create a sense of urgency in their companies to survive with today’s tighter consumer spending — urgency to meet goals, to satisfy customers, and to improve productivity. The inertia of business as usual is no longer an option as a flood of bad economic news washes over all segments of the prepared foods industry, and maybe you.

Doing the Responsible Thing

August 17, 2009 7:24 am | by Anna Wells, Editor, IMPO

One of the things I don’t think will ever go out of style is the general distaste most people have for frivolous lawsuits. Case in point, the world’s disgust with the latest scenario to pepper CNN with the following headline: “Alumna Sues College Because She Hasn’t Found a Job.

Lean Sustainability

August 17, 2009 7:21 am | by Antonio Urquiza, senior consultant, CH2M HILL

The recent downturn in the economy has been quite remarkable in its intensity, global spread and duration. There is no question or debate any longer that we are facing the worst economic environment since the Great Depression in the late 1920s and early 1930s. 

C&L Refrigeration Designs Breakthrough Systems for LEED-Compliant Facility

August 14, 2009 10:10 am

When a new cold storage facility opened in March in San Diego County, it wasn't just another energy-draining industrial building. This one is ground-breaking in design, solar-powered and expected to cut energy costs by 75 percent. It even is on track to attain the highly coveted gold certification from the U.

Are Marketing Plans Brewing Deceit?

August 14, 2009 7:54 am | by Karen Langhauser, Editor-in-Chief

My friends are constantly inviting me “out for coffee.” Now, I like coffee – I drink at least three cups a day – but coffee is not recreational to me; it’s functional. Quite frankly, if I want to sit around with a few friends and socialize, I’d rather have a beer.

Redefining Dairy

August 12, 2009 1:05 pm | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director

A focus on sustainability has driven the Crave Brothers' cheese factory and dairy farm to new levels of product quality and energy efficiency. Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director As someone who grew up in the rolling corn and hay fields of southeastern WI, I'll proudly testify to the sentiment that permeates throughout this area.

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