A couple of years ago, the cold food industry hit a lull. The down economy forced processors to cease construction on new or expanded buildings and place a hold on developing new products.

Fast forward to today, and the cold food industry is firing on all cylinders.

Food safety at its finest. Increased regulatory changes in food safety, food prevention and food security allow the cold food industry to take charge in all aspects of the supply chain. For example, many of today’s security solutions providers offer state-of-the-art cameras, vision inspection systems and integrated software that manage everything from fleet to employees to operations to even the facility’s parking lots.

Meanwhile, several solutions encompass providing real-time data, all while meeting stringent food safety regulations. As well, cold food processors are building food safety labs within their manufacturing plants that comprise of scientists and microbiologists who test food samples and track and trace food safety measurements.

To learn more about food safety, prevention and security, check out the Food Safety section of our website.

Building up, not out. The future in construction for the cold food industry is building up, not out. Why? Because the infrastructure of a sound building that’s equipped with certifications and energy-efficient features is already in place. The influx of automated equipment such as picking and product retrieval and racking systems as well as walk-on ceilings and more compact machinery make it possible to reach higher and higher even in a lesser footprint.

To learn more about cold storage construction trends, check out our 2014 Cold Storage Construction Guide.

Continued carbon footprint reduction. Energy-efficient features such as LED lighting, thicker dock doors, tighter temperature controls and the use of energy auditors help processors and cold storage providers achieve energy management.

Location, location, location. Companies are building and expanding in areas that make the most economical sense. For instance, near highways and on/off ramps, down the road from an already existing warehouse or distribution center, away from potential natural disaster sites or next to suppliers who may provide certain products, such as fish (for the seafood market) or farms (for dairy and meat).

New flavors, new products, new line extensions, new categories. Many of today’s cold food processors aren’t just creating the average new product—instead they’re creating a whole new category. Ice cream that’s refrigerated, Greek yogurt that’s frozen, bacon that comes in jerky format—anything goes.

To learn more about new products hitting retailer's shelves and restaurant menus, check out the New Products section of our website.

 Whatever the trend, the cold food industry is creating it. And, whatever the want or demand is, the cold food industry is meeting it.