(Note: this editor's letter appeared in the March 2020 issue of Refrigerated & Frozen Foods magazine.)
Hello! I’m Michael Costa, the new editor-in-chief at Refrigerated & Frozen Foods. I’m thrilled to take over the reins of this storied brand (now in our 30th year) and hopefully meet you at upcoming tradeshows, events, manufacturing plant tours, and more, so I can get a first-hand look at how you and your business contribute to this thriving, multi-layered and ever-evolving industry.
My background is in food and beverage, but down the supply chain in foodservice, where I worked in a commercial kitchen, and was the editor of a B2B magazine aimed at those working in the volume foodservice industry.
This is Refrigerated & Frozen Foods’ annual Top 150 Frozen Foods Processors Report, so for my first issue, it was deep dive into the current frozen foods segment, which generated almost $55 billion in 2019. See why it was another impactful year for frozen foods, starting on P. 6.
About a decade ago, I visited the headquarters of a large meat manufacturer along with a handful of chefs, who were also volume customers of this particular company. One point that company emphasized repeatedly was that frozen is not the opposite of fresh. Frozen is fresh, suspended in time. This was an era when a lot of F&B marketing was focused on driving a wedge between fresh and frozen—if it was frozen it was somehow inferior to fresh. It sounded radical at the time to consider frozen and fresh as one in the same, but the industry has successfully changed minds over the years through unwavering educational efforts.
Elsewhere, we’re celebrating our 30th anniversary with a look at past Processors of the Year, and this issue we catch up with our 2015 Refrigerated Foods Processor of the Year, Evolution Fresh. Find out how these HPP pioneers continue to redefine the super-premium cold-pressed juice category on P. 22.
Another pioneering company is Taylor Farms. They invested heavily in renewable, alternative energies like solar and wind back in 2012, and it’s paying off in enormous energy savings today. Read our Q&A with Nicole Flewell, director of sustainability at Taylor Farms, on P. 24 for strategies that can lead to energy independence in cold foods facilities.
Finally, over on our website (www.refrigeratedfrozenfood.com) we’ve just opened voting for our eighth annual Best New Retail Products contest. We’ve narrowed the field down to 26 finalists, and now it’s up to you to choose the five winners we’ll feature in our July issue. Just visit here to cast your vote.