Timing is Everything – The Impact of Cut-to-Cool Time on Freshness

Timing is Everything – The Impact of Cut-to-Cool Time on Freshness

Have you ever shown up at a busy restaurant just as a table becomes available? Or perhaps you raced to a store to get an item that’s in high demand and discovered that you are the lucky individual to get the last one on the shelf? When these things happen, I say to my wife “Timing is everything!” Timing is everything when it comes to food freshness too. All produce has a definable shelf-life, or “freshness capacity,” which varies based on harvest quality and conditions, and product temperature. The timing becomes critical from the...Continue Reading...
Growers and Suppliers – What Really Happens in the Food Supply Chain

Growers and Suppliers – What Really Happens in the Food Supply Chain

When it comes to the growers and suppliers in fresh food supply chain, how many of us really understand what it takes to provide the fresh fruits and vegetables that we buy at our local grocery store? Perspectives from Western Growers Last week I was at the Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology (WGCIT) in Salinas, California and had the chance to meet with Dennis Donohue, the WGCIT’s Consulting Director. While I’m perhaps more in-tune with the produce industry than your average American, speaking with Dennis...Continue Reading...
Is Your Fresh Food Supply Chain Stuck in the ‘60s?

Is Your Fresh Food Supply Chain Stuck in the ‘60s?

“Flower power” and “cool baby” were popular phrases in the 1960s, and those of us in the fresh and perishable food supply chain industries still like to think about flowers and being cool (or cold). But, it’s a downer when we read that we’re still wasting 40% of our food every year. It bums me out. Why? Because it doesn’t have to be this way. We have the ability to reduce pre-consumer perishable food waste by 50% or more. The reason we, as an industry, haven’t made much of a dent in this problem is that too often we approach it by...Continue Reading...
What? No Bacon? (Cue Ominous Music)

What? No Bacon? (Cue Ominous Music)

A fast food restaurant running out of bacon? Sounds like my worst nightmare!  I remember waking up in a cold sweat one night and immediately racing to my closest 24-hour fast food place. Phew, the bacon cheeseburger was still there. I ordered two, just to be safe. OK, my nightmare didn’t happen but this one pictured above apparently did and, no doubt, led to a lot of frustrated and unhappy customers at Wendy’s that day. What happened? What went wrong? While it’s hard to say, it could have been: The restaurant was incredibly busy...Continue Reading...
Increasing Trucking Costs Further Squeezes Grocery Margins – Don’t Waste Your Money!

Increasing Trucking Costs Further Squeezes Grocery Margins – Don’t Waste Your Money!

Retail grocers are already feeling the squeeze on margins. New market entrants like Amazon and Aldi have ignited a price war, with Walmart and Kroger further fueling the blaze. Then there’s new shopping models including online, click-to-collect and home delivery of groceries and meal kits for grocers to deal with. And now, to top it all off, grocers also must deal with rapidly increasing transportation costs. While rail and barges play a role in delivering food to grocery stores, the industry is still dependent on truckers. Not only...Continue Reading...
Millennials Want True Transparency

Millennials Want True Transparency

If you’re a grower, manufacturer or retail grocer, you shouldn’t be thinking about me. I’m a baby boomer. Yes, I can spend a lot of money (just ask my wife), but my buying habits are outdated and, if you continue to solely gear your business towards my generation, you’re going to have problems – and very soon at that. As of 2016, the millennials surpassed the baby boomers and they are now the largest demographic buying group in the USA with over 75 million members. Millennials have a very different approach to the way they eat,...Continue Reading...