If you thought 2010 was a year of challenges, hang on to your hat. Get ready to deal with a revised and more stringent food safety bill giving more powers to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), more encompassing food guidelines to combat obesity, a child nutrition reauthorization bill mandating healthier school meals, higher commodity prices, stronger private-label competition and new consumer behaviors. Whew! And that's just the beginning.
Some of the topics addressed in this extensive report of FoodProcessing.com
"There are seismic shifts going on in consumer habits, and that is one of the greatest challenges for food processors in 2011," says Dexter Manning, partner and national food & beverage practice leader of Grant Thornton LLP, a Chicago-based accounting and advisory firm. "They must try to figure out what changes, what R&D spend, they need to make in order keep up with, or to get ahead of, the changes in consumer preferences being driven on several fronts."
"Swiftly rising input costs have put packaged food companies in a situation where margins are being squeezed," said Judi Rossetti, senior director at Fitch Inc., a New York- and London-based global ratings agency. "It will take time for price increases implemented by the food companies to catch up with the commodity cost inflation they are already incurring."