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.