Nation Pizza and Foods’ massive 190,000-sq.-ft. operation in Schaumburg, Ill.—one of the company’s two frozen product facilities—features seven speedy production lines that generate at least 30,000 lb. of dough an hour alone. We tour one of the two bakeries and one of four topping lines, which all feature upgraded and soon-to-be-installed equipment.
Pork rinds are probably the most misunderstood item in the snack category. This is surprising, because people have been eating pork rinds—also called pork skins—as long as they have been eating pigs. One of the world’s first snack foods created thousands of years ago, and favored in the southern states, pork rinds are a simple combination of fried pork skins and salt.
Axium Foods’ 130,000-sq.-ft, corn-based snacks operation in South Beloit, Ill., has expanded several times, thanks in part to the success of the many private-label products it packs and products it copacks. It’s also launching its own line of Mystic Harvest purple tortilla chips, which contain powerful antioxidants. Outfitted with seven highly flexible production lines, Axium produces 150 different stock-keeping units of snacks each week.
Chipping in for a “greener” future, Frito-Lay North America’s snack manufacturing facility in Casa Grande, Ariz., is the company’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold snack unit—a remarkable achievement in its own right. But the plant, which Frito-Lay calls its Near Net Zero project showcase, is also the result of a highly ambitious sustainability project that took the location “off the grids,” running primarily on renewable energy sources and recycled water, while producing zero landfill waste. The plant could be the most sustainable food production facility of its kind in the U.S.
Lloyd Pans, Spokane, Wash., produces its pan products in the good ’ole USA, using a proprietary stick-resistant coating that cleans easily and is 100% PTFE-free. What’s interesting, though, is that it sells almost all of the baking pans online.
While times have been rough for some bakery categories, frozen pizza manufacturers continue to find their sweet spot by introducing products with creative flavors, premium toppings and affordable prices.
Nearly four years after the economic downturn, many Americans are still keeping a tight rein on their expenditures, monitoring how much they spend on essentials, including groceries, and nonessentials, such as eating out. Not surprisingly, many food manufacturers and restaurants have been impacted by this new-found consumer frugality, prompting the former to trim unprofitable items from their product lines and the latter to add more specials to their menus.
New and updated software applications enable bakers and snack producers to better manage logistics and fleets to efficiently and effectively deliver their goods to customers and keep costs in check.
May 18, 2012
Like all manufacturers, bakers and snack producers know that their success (and profitability) depends on more than just regularly introducing new products. Controlling overhead, operating and equipment costs is a major part of the equation.