The latest data from research firm IRI (Information Resources Inc.) and BCG (Boston Consulting Group) shows frozen and refrigerated food sales leveling off after a sharp sales spike in March due to COVID-19 stockpiling by consumers.
Smithfield Foods announced that its Sioux Falls, South Dakota, facility will remain closed until further notice. The plant is one of the largest pork processing facilities in the U.S., representing four to five percent of U.S. pork production. It supplies nearly 130 million servings of food per week, or about 18 million servings per day, and employs 3,700 people. More than 550 independent family farmers supply the plant.
Week-over-week statistics from Clear Seas Research show food and beverage manufacturers have shifted their attention from future business goals to immediate employee welfare and current economic factors impacting their operations. Research conducted in late March showed 73% of those polled were concerned about achieving their business goals the next six months. Research conducted in early April saw that number drop to 53%.
West Liberty, Iowa-based West Liberty Foods reported today that two additional team members at its West Liberty, Iowa facility have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of positive cases at the facility to three. To the company’s knowledge, no team members working at any other West Liberty Foods location have tested positive for COVID-19.
On our newest From the Cold Corner podcast, I talked with Roberto Peregrina from Hiperbaric about the latest trends in High Pressure Processing (HPP) and what the evolution of HPP might look like in the future. We also discussed COVID-19’s impact on Hiperbaric’s business, and what the company is doing instead of tradeshows to connect with F&B processors while travel is shut down, which is a pivot many businesses have to make today.
The sudden surge in demand for refrigerated, frozen and packaged foods due to the COVID-19 pandemic has put food processors into overdrive trying to meet the market's needs. For example, oat milk sales have increased 477% compared to the same time last year, and dried beans 231%. One area possibly overlooked in this supply chain crush is labels for food. A company might have the actual F&B product and physical packaging, but maybe not access to updated label templates to complete the food manufacturing process before it ships out to stores, direct-to-customer orders and other clients.
Giant Food, a Washington D.C. regional grocery chain, announced two new social distancing policies put into effect across all of its stores as they continue to provide an essential service for the community during the coronavirus pandemic.
United Fresh and a number of industry partners presented to the U.S. Department of Agriculture a comprehensive Produce Market Stabilization Program to immediately support critical financial needs in the produce supply chain. This was a major undertaking to understand the wide-ranging financial impact this crisis is having on our entire industry.
Fleet Advantage announced their foundation, Kids Around the Corner, founded in 2014, made a $10,000 donation to the First Responders Children’s Foundation to aid in their emergency response fund amidst COVID-19.
The May 2020 issue of Refrigerated & Frozen Foods magazine highlights sustainable solutions for companies along the cold chain, plus coronavirus and food safety coverage, lift truck technology, pizza innovations, new dairy and dairy-alternative products, plus much more—just click the stories below to start reading.