Food Manufacturing Jobs Forecast

Fierce competition has led food manufacturing plants to invest in technologically advanced machinery to become more productive. The new machines have been applied to tasks as varied as packaging, inspection, and inventory control, but the processing of animal products remains a labor-intensive activity that is resistant to automation efforts. As a result, employment will decrease for some machine operators, such as packaging and filling machine operators and tenders, while employment growth is expected for industrial engineers and industrial machinery mechanics, who are responsible for the design or repair and maintenance of new equipment.

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Strong 2015 Outlook for Food Manufacturers

According to Credit Suisse, the 159 year old Swiss finance giant, lower gas prices, industry changes and other factors should help the retail food sector in 2015.

Robert Moskow, an analyst with Credit Suisse, said the benefits of lower prices and an overall healthier economy will be more broadly enjoyed by all demographics in 2015.”

Moskow said that lower gas prices may not point to more sales for the packaged foods sector, based on 34 years of government data. He said when gas prices go down people eat out more often, and when gas prices rise, people tend to look for grocery savings.

“While not a game-changer for U.S. food,” he continued, “we believe that the stronger economic backdrop will improve fundamental performance in 2015, especially in relation to the unusually weak 2014.

“Lower gas prices, a positive adjustment in SNAP benefits, and the slow but continuous improvement in employment should help improve consumer confidence, especially among lower-income consumers who have yet to enjoy any of the benefits of the broader economic recovery,” Moskow said.

“Wal-Mart estimates that the SNAP cutbacks at the end of 2013 represented a 0.7% drag on its food sales in 2014, and lower gas prices are likely to boost U.S. disposable income by at least $80 billion. These factors aren’t game changers, but they certainly must come as a relief for manufacturers and consumers alike.”

Other trends in the food manufacturing sector include grocers seeking to expand private label and store brands to entice value-seeking shoppers. On the high-end, Moskow predicts more consumers transitioning to organic foods while they also demand more transparency in labeling and a move toward healthier nutrition.

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5 Advantages of Using an Executive Search Firm

If you have a high level position that you are trying to fill, here are 5 major advantages to using an Executive Search Firm.

1. Time: What is yours worth?
After sorting through hundred of resumes, most of which do not match your needs, you may be wondering if there’s not a better way. A good Executive Search firm will only bring you 3-5 candidates who have been researched, interviewed, and screened for success. So, how much is your time worth?

2. Passive candidates are not looking
High level “A” players are out there, but they may be unaware of your opportunity because you’ve chosen job boards or postings on your website. You need an executive search firm to get their attention and engage them on why your opportunity is one they should consider.

3. Get the best talent available
Why settle for just those that responded to your advertising. Job postings can be effective for certain roles but they only reach active candidates. Often the best candidate is the one currently working for one of your competitors, and they aren’t looking at your postings.

4. You get what you pay for
And you pay for what you get. A good candidate will pay for themselves. Using an executive search professional to seek out the best talent will usually provide a return on investment much higher than simply hoping that person who applied will work out.

5. Your company is unique – so should be your candidate.
A good Executive Search firm will approach your search with a fresh viewpoint. It’s not about how many resumes one has. It’s about finding a talent that will assist your company’s success, and knowing where to quickly locate and bring that talent to you.

For more information about executive searches for the food manufacturing industry, contact The Performance Exchange.

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5 Food Industry Trends for 2015

According to Todd Allsup, VP, Food & Beverage Facility Services, Stellar Group, Inc., there are five trends in the food industry that we should see in 2015.  Stellar is an worldwide architecture, engineering, construction and mechanical services firm that creates food and beverage processing plants, refrigerated warehouses, distribution centers and other food industry systems.

Here is a quick summary:

1. Innovations to Lower Food Costs

Pressures are rising for food manufacturers to lower their product costs. They are trying to find New products, new ideas that can help maintain profitability, and modifications to product categories. Food manufacturers are also on the hunt for more cost-effective means of manufacturing, standardizing equipment and exploring automation to minimize labor costs.

2. Healthier Foods

There’s been increasing interest in organic and natural foods by the public. For manufacturers this means reevaluating equipment types and how materials are processed. The handling is different for these products, impacting how lines are set up and operated. If a bakery is gluten free, for example, the processing is entirely different than if you were to use standard ingredients due to concerns over ingredient separation and cross contamination.

3.Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency has been popular mainly due to a shift by consumers who are concerned with the environment and what they’re putting into their bodies. By reducing energy consumption, food manufacturers are reducing costs and increasing profits.

4. China Market

With its large and rapidly growing middle class, China now represents a major new market for large food and beverage companies. Because U.S. companies have respected reputations regarding food safety and product quality, Chinese consumers are willing to pay premiums for their products. Many multinational companies are now capitalizing on this opportunity to move into the Chinese market.

5. Refrigeration Strategy

Due to its damage to the atmosphere, food manufacturers must phase out R-22 refrigerants and move toward natural options such as CO2 by the year 2020. Right now, food manufacturers are making plans for the shift. There are new technologies and developments emerging around refrigeration and distribution such as skid-mounted refrigeration systems that use CO2 instead of ammonia.

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