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Farm-to-Retail Price Spread Rose in 1997

The farm-to-retail price spread--the difference between the farm value and retail price of food--rose 4.7 percent in 1997, partly reflecting higher prices of marketing inputs such as labor and energy.

The increase in the 1997 farm-to-retail price spread was larger than in 1996. The farm-to-retail price spread increased for all food groups. Higher costs for labor, packaging, energy, transportation, and other marketing inputs push the spread wider nearly every year.

Roadnet Technologies Tops 1100 Installations

Roadnet Technologies Inc., a UPS Logistics Group Company, has announced that they have now installed more than 1100 licenses of their transportation management software solutions throughout North America.

Some of Roadnet's customers include Alliant Foodservice, Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, Frito-Lay Corp.,, Haagen-Dasz, Inc.,, Miller Beer distributors, Pepsi-Cola Company and Pepsi-Cola franchises, SYSCO Corp., and US Foodservice, in addition to more than 800 distributors in all industries.

For more information call 800-762-3638. E-mail" Web site:

Louisville Distribution Center

Millard Refrigerated Services has announced it is opening Phase II of its Louisville distribution center. The 46,000 square foot addition to Louisville expands the facility to 202,000 square feet with over 6.1 million cubic feet.

This facility is another extension of Millard's expanding network of distribution centers. The network is designed to meet the demands of major markets served by national retail and foodservice companies throughout the United States.

Including its facilities currently under construction, Millard operates 24 refrigerated warehouse, distribution, and processing facilities throughout the United States. These facilities account for over 165 million cubic feet.

For information contact Tom Dolfay at 402-896-6600.

AmeriCold Logistics Appoints VP Of International Business

As a key component of its "one-stop logistics" strategy, AmeriCold Logistics, the largest U.S. provider of temperature-controlled storage and food distribution services to customers worldwide, has named James M. Balestra as vice president, international. This newly established position will emphasize the creation of singlesource logistics programs for retail and foodservice customers that export and import products from countries beyond the U.S.

Mr. Balestra, who will be based at AmeriCold's Atlanta, Ga., headquarters, will be responsible for developing the strategic plan to make it easier and more efficient for AmeriCold customers to conduct international business. He will have profit-and-loss accountability for implementing AmeriCold's international service expansion to the global marketplace, including the Asia Pacific, Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East, and will oversee all related marketing, sales, operations and support functions.

For further information call Hal Justice at 678-441-1511.

USDA Issues Final 1998-99 Crop Forecast

The Florida Valencia estimate dropped 1.8 million boxes recently, bringing the final orange forecast for the 1998-99 season to 185.7 million boxes. If the USDA Agricultural Statistics Board's estimate is realized, this will represent a reduction of 24 percent from the 244 million boxes utilized in 1997-98.

"We experienced a significantly smaller citrus harvest this year over last year primarily due to unusual weather conditions in the winter and spring of 1998," said Florida Citrus Mutual Executive Vice President-CEO Andy LaVigne. He added that a smaller crop in Brazil, the strong U.S. economy and an increased demand for not-from-concentrate citrus products all contributed to the more favorable numbers.

The final grapefruit forecast was 47.05 million boxes, a decrease of 2.5 million boxes from last year. "This past season was also much better for grapefruit growers compared to 1997-98 when virtually everyone had red ink," said LaVigne, who noted improved grapefruit juice sales helped deplete the large juice inventories and shored up the entire grapefruit business.

Florida's frozen concentrated orange juice (FCOJ) yield estimate remained at 1.63 gallons per 90-pound box of oranges. Mutual reports that Florida processors will pack 158.9 million gallons of FCOJ this season.

The final forecast for the state's specialty fruit crop was 1.8 million boxes of Temples, 2.55 million boxes of tangelos and 80,000 boxes of the K-early variety. The total tangerine forecast was 4.95 million boxes.

Lakeland-based Florida Citrus Mutual is the state's largest citrus growers' organization with nearly 12,000 members.

For more information contact Andy LaVigne at 941.682.1111.

AmeriCold To Test Leading Satellite Tracking Technology

Technology driven logistics provider first in industry to integrate delivery tracking with real time internet advantages

AmeriCold Logistics, the largest U.S. provider of temperature-controlled storage and food distribution services to customers worldwide, has announced it has begun beta-testing a new, leading edge mobile satellite communications and vehicle tracking system. The system will allow carriers and logistics-based businesses to track and review the progress of their shipments in real-time via the Internet.

AmeriCold's Carthage, Missouri, consolidated distribution center is the first facility to install the new technology and, after testing is completed, the system is expected to be rolled out nationally to AmeriCold's network of regional distribution centers.

Hal Justice, senior vice president at AmeriCold, said, "We are pleased to be at the forefront of another leading-edge technology that will serve to streamline our internal communications and improve customer responsiveness. The primary benefits of the system are that the company and its customers will be able to access and act on real-time load information, thus reducing customer service costs and improving resource management."

For further information contact Hal Justice at 678-441-1511.

FMI Releases Comprehensive Resource Guide To Family Supermarket Succession

Addressing a critical concern of American food retailers, Food Marketing Institute (FMI) has released The Legal and Financial Side of Family Supermarket Succession--A Reference Guide For Business Owners, a comprehensive 119-page instructional guide to business continuation planning.

Topics include wills, trusts, private foundations, life insurance, valuation tools, family limited partnerships, voting and non-voting stock, and retirement programs. A model planning process is reviewed, and samples of important legal and financial documents are provided.

FMI's family supermarket succession series also includes the following publications: Family Supermarket Succession--Managing the Future of Your Business, and The Human side of Family Supermarket Succession--A Planning Guide.

For more information, call FMI publications sales at 202-429-8298 or 8266.

Strategic Service Decisions To Be Made By New AmeriCold Logistics Executive Operating Committee

AmeriCold Logistics, the largest U.S. provider of temperature controlled storage and food distribution services to customers worldwide, recently announced the formation of an executive operating committee to integrate the company's strategic planning and operations.

Dan McNamara, President and CEO, said, "We are nearing the completion of several new service offerings which will dramatically improve the flow and timeliness of critical logistics information for our customers. The implementation of these services requires the complete integration of all facets of our business. This committee empowers key managers to make long-term operating decisions and direct the implementation of new growth initiatives throughout the company."

Named to the new committee were senior executives: Hal Justice, senior vice president of sales and marketing; Dane Bear, senior vice president for meats/poultry; Bob Smola, senior vice president for plant operations, and Tom Ryan, senior vice president for distribution operations.

AmeriCold Logistics, headquartered in Atlanta, GA, employs over 6,000 associates in 105 facilities including regional, consolidated and dedicated distribution centers throughout the U.S., handling more than 7.2 million cases per day and serving over 3,500 customers including every major food manufacturer in the country.

Laitrram Machinery Inc. Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary

Laitram Machinery, Inc. produced the world's first automatic shrimp peeler in 1949. That invention literally created the automated bulk shrimp processing industry. It was then followed by additional equipment for the cleaning, grading and deveining of most cold and warm water shrimp species.

Over the last fifty years, Laitram's product line has undergone continual upgrading both in terms of design and technology. Significant recent additions to Laitram's product line include continuous steam cookers with patented repositioning devices and sanitation-friendly split hood designs. These innovative cookers are used extensively by seafood and vegetable processors around the world to process products such as: warm and cold water shrimp, lobster, crab, mussels, peas, carrots, corn, and onions.

Since 1949, Laitram has leased, sold, installed and maintained hundreds of food processing machines. Their service department alone has over 100 years of combined experience repairing and maintaining processing equipment.

For more information on the complete line of Laitram Machinery products, call Laitram Machinery Customer Service at (504) 733-6000, or toll free at (800) 533-8253 within the U.S. and Canada.

Information is also available on Laitram's web-site at

Stellar Begins Construction On New Hampton Inn & Suites

The Stellar Group has begun construction on a new Hampton Inn & Suites hotel located in the historic district of downtown Fernandina Beach, Florida. The 85,000 s.f. hotel project will consist of 122 rooms, three meeting rooms, breakfast room and rooftop entertainment center. M. Taylor & Company Inc., Hoteliers is the owner and developer.

Stellar is a premier international design/build firm providing design, engineering, construction and refrigeration services to industrial, commercial and institutional markets.

Stellar is recognized as a leader in the commercial development of hospitality complexes, resorts, car dealerships and institutional facilities. In addition to its Jacksonville, Florida headquarters, Stellar maintains a regional office in Fresno, California and more than 20 strategic support locations throughout the United States.

Stellar serves South and Central America with business units in Mexico and Brazil.

For information contact Mark Sherwood at 800-488-2900.

Web site:

Second Addition

Millard Refrigerated Services announces it is opening its second addition of its Geneva distribution center. The 81,555 square foot addition to Geneva expands the facility to 400,000 square feet with over 12 million cubic feet. With the completion of this phase, Millard has over 650,000 square feet of distribution space in the Chicago area.

The Geneva distribution center provides coverage for the midwest United States and is one of the cornerstones of Millard's national network of distribution centers. The network is designed to meet the demands of major markets served by national retail and food service companies throughout the United States.

Including its facilities currently under construction, Millard operates 24 refrigerated warehouse, distribution, and processing facilities throughout the United States. These facilities account for over 165 million cubic feet.

For further information contact Tom Dolfay at 402-896-6600.

FMI Appoints

Food Marketing Institute (FMI) has appointed Kate Coler director, government affairs and Patrick Walsh director, industry relations.

Also promoted is Joy Nicholas to group director, research and emerging technologies.

Marketing Bill Continues To Rise

Marketing costs are by far the largest portion of food expenditures --taking nearly 80 cents of every dollar consumers spent on food in 1997. The cost of providing marketing services beyond the farm gate continues to be the most persistent source of rising food expenditures. The marketing bill grew 3.9% ($16.6 billion) in 1997, following a 2.1% rose in 1996.

This increase was larger than the 1997 rate of 2.3%, the reverse of the situation recorded in 1996. This was the largest growth in marketing costs in both absolute dollars and percentage terms since 1994. The 1997 rise was the result of a modest drop (1.8%) in the farm value, coupled with a somewhat larger rise (2.6%) in consumer food expenditures.

While the marketing bill rose higher than the 3.6% average annual increase of the rest of the 1990s, moderate inflation continued to restrain marketing cost increases. Recent increases in the bill are much smaller than during periods of rapid inflation, such as the late 1970s, when marketing costs gained as much as 13% in a single year. That compares to a 14.7% total rise between 1993 and 1997.

The marketing bill increases every year, largely reflecting rising costs of packaging and other processing and marketing inputs--especially labor.

The Largest Northeast Sales and Marketing Company Is Created

Food Dynamics and Kirstein Brokerage Company have merged to form The Market Dynamics Group, LLC which will cover the foodservice market from Northern New Jersey/Metro New York and Albany through the six New England states.

In addition, Dynamics Solutions, the foodservice marketing division, will cover the entire marketplace.

The Market Dynamics Group, LLC is also pleased to announce that an agreement has been signed to acquire Apple Food Brokerage. Apple Food Brokerage operates in the Metro New York market and will be rolled into the Kirstein Brokerage division of The Market Dynamics Group, LLC furthering Kirstein's strategic market position.

Joe Buffalino, the former president of Apple Food, will join Kirstein Brokerage as Vice President of Sales reporting to Jim Orkin. Partner Fred Rosen has elected to pursue a career with a prominent retail food broker. Sales personnel from Apple Food will be incorporated into the Kirstein sales team adding greater strength to their talented sales team.

This merger creates the largest foodservice agency in the Northeast with over 100 employees and is the first to offer coverage in both the Northern New Jersey/Metro New York and New England/Albany markets.

Food Dynamics and Kirstein Brokerage Company will continue to operate from their current locations with The Market Dynamics Group, LLC headquartered in Natick, Massachusetts. The principals of The Market Dynamics Group, LLC are Bob Galvin, Mark Hughes, Bruce Kirstein and Jim Orkin

For information call Robert Galvin at 800-804-3663 or Bruce Kirstein at 914-664-1900.

ConAgra Acquires Holly Ridge Foods

ConAgra, Inc. (NYSE: CAG) has acquired Holly Ridge Foods, Inc. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Holly Ridge Foods is a producer of a wide variety of fruit turnovers, supplying grocery in-store bakeries and foodservice operations, including national quick-service restaurants. Holly Ridge is well-recognized for its ability to develop custom and proprietary formulations to meet specific customer needs. The company operates a manufacturing facility in Hollyridge, NC, and employs approximately 155 people. Holly Ridge will operate as a part of ConAgra's Lamb Weston, Inc.

"Holly Ridge is an excellent business with a reputation for innovation and high-quality products," said Bobby Horowitz, president of Lamb Weston. "Holly Ridge will be a great complement to Lamb Weston's current business that manufactures and distributes Lamb Weston Pocket Classics, hand-held snack and dessert turnovers. We have long admired Holly Ridge, and we are delighted to welcome the Holly Ridge employees to the Lamb Weston family. Our combined strengths and opportunities for synergies will go a long way toward expanding and enhancing our position as a leading supplier for these great-tasting products."

For more information call 800-766-7783. Web site:

IFT's 1999 Annual Meeting & Food Expo Breaks All Records

A record of more than 24,000 food professionals from all over the world gathered in the "Windy City" July 24-28 for the Institute of Food Technologists' (IFT's) 1999 Annual Meeting & Food Expo[R]. Recordbreaking numbers of scientific papers, exhibiting companies and booths, and international representatives also helped make IFT's 1999 meeting the largest event in the society's history.

IFT's Annual Meeting featured more than 1,500 scientific presentations on food issues in 116 sessions, including 43 symposia, 21 oral sessions, 37 poster sessions, 10 special forums, four video theater sessions, four student competitions, three hot topic sessions, two new products and technologies sessions, and one keynote address.

The Food Expo[R] featured about 875 companies, accounting for more than 2,500 10ftx10ft booth spaces, which displayed the latest in food products, ingredients, equipment, processes, and services.

Australian Logistics Group Acquires Loop Cold Storage's Refrigerated Warehouse Business in San Antonio

P&O Cold Storage has acquired the San Antonio public refrigerated warehouse facilities of Loop Cold Storage. The purchase does not include the business of Loop Cold Storage in McAllen, TX, which will continue to be owned by Jack McGuire.

Loop Cold Storage-San Antonio, located on Southon Rd, operates 5.5 million cubic feet of refrigerated warehouse having a capacity of storing 40 million pounds of frozen food at temperatures of -10 [degrees]. The company is currently involved in a major expansion, which will increase the size of its operations by 30%. Loop provides frozen food warehousing and logistical services to frozen food processors, foodservice and retail grocery customers.

P&O is a large multinational logistics company, which owns public refrigerated warehouses in Australia, Argentina and the United States. Its U.S. operations are located in California., Nevada and Utah.

John Randall, Managing Director of P&O Cold Storage, commented that Loop Cold Storage's dominant position in the San Antonio market re. presents a good fit with the company's other U.S. business. "Loop is a well managed company and we do not anticipate any changes in its current management team."

For further information, call Warren Wilkinson at 210-377-2733 or Phil Evans at 310-900-7003.

United Signature Foods Acquires Nancy's Specialty Foods

United Signature Foods, LLC, has acquired Nancy's Specialty Foods, Newark, CA, the premium manufacturer of the Nancy's brand of frozen gourmet appetizers and quiche entrees. This expands United Signature Foods' premium and high-quality food product categories.

"The Nancy's brand name has been synonymous with premium homemade taste and real, high-quality ingredients," said Steve Diamond, chief executive officer of United Signature Foods. "We're very enthusiastic about this acquisition. It's a good fit with our products and allows us to provide additional innovative quality products to delight our customers."

United Signature Foods manufactures a large family of foods including frozen soups, soup bases, salad dressings, mayonnaise and sauces as well as nonfood items for the foodservice industry.

Nancy Mueller will remain with Nancy's Specialty Foods.

For more information please call Patricia Plodzeen Public Relations at 312-595-1540.

United States Cold Storage Launches PDQ Logistics Into Mexico

United States Cold Storage, Inc. (USCS), headquartered in Cherry Hill, NJ, has announced the launching of a new less-than-truckload freight consolidation program from its facilities in Laredo, TX serving major destinations in Mexico.

Regularly scheduled PDQ (Prover Distribution Quality) service will be provided for L-T-L shipments requiring temperature controlled delivery to Monterey, Guadalajara, Mexico City and Cancun. Orders will be consolidated into truckloads through an efficient full service logistics program at the ultra modern USCS warehouse and distribution center situated near the border crossing in Laredo.

For more information, please contact Luis Guardiola at 956-722-3951 or fax 956-723-8386.

Web site:

Bakery Chef To Acquire Frozen Business Of Continental Mills

Bakery Chef, Inc., Louisville, KY, and Continental Mills, Inc., Seattle, WA, announced recently the sale of Continental Mills' frozen business to Bakery Chef. The sale was scheduled to be completed on Friday, August 6.

This transaction includes the manufacturing facility and the frozen waffle, French toast and pancake product lines.

Bakery Chef has acquired the license for the use of the Krusteaz frozen brand, and they have acquired CMI frozen and private label frozen businesses.

Bakery Chefs current product lines include frozen biscuits, frozen pancakes and dry mixes produced at two facilities in Louisville, KY.

According to Bakery Chef President and CEO David L. Bere, "The acquisition of this premier quality company allows us to broaden our horizons in three ways: expanding our value-added bakery product lines, increasing manufacturing capacity and expanding our customer base." Bere added that the current plant management and approximately 220 employees will continue to operate at its location in Seattle.

New Storage Warehouse

Columbus Cold Storage has announced the opening of its new storage warehouse in Columbus, O. The complex includes one convertible room (-10F to +40F) containing approximately 365,000 cubic feet, a (-20F) freezer containing approximately 2.4 million cubic feet and a 60,000 square foot dry area.

The refrigerated warehouse is fully racked and supports a 160 ton tube ice plant. The automated central ammonia refrigeration system was designed by Bonar Engineering, Inc., Jacksonville, FL.

Three refrigerated docks with 25 truck doors will service the facility. Future plans include full service rail.

For information call 614-272-8404.

Exciting Changes Ahead For the 2000 International Poultry Exposition

The 52nd Annual International Poultry Exposition, to be held Jan. 19-21, 2000, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta Ga, will feature several notable changes. Enhancements announced by the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, the event sponsor, include new carpet, color-coordinated signage, and electric trams to speed the flow of traffic.

"Each year we strive to bring a new excitement to the expo," said Ed Cox, U.S. Poultry's vice president-exposition. "We rely on exhibitor and attendee input to help us make the changes that will keep the IPE a valuable and pleasant experience for all concerned."

For more information, contact: U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, 1530 Cooledge Road, Tucker, Ga. 30084-7303; Tel: 770-493-9401; Fax: 770-493-9257.

E-mail: Website:

Stellar Completes Construction For State Fair Grounds

The Stellar Group has recently completed construction on the expansion of a meat/food processing facility for State Fair Foods.

Stellar was responsible for design, construction and refrigeration of the new upgraded 133,000 s.f. facility, which consists of processing, storage, machine room, office and welfare areas. The new plant will manufacture the nationally distributed State Fair products, including corn dogs, mini corn dogs, pancake and sausage on a stick, and breakfast bites.

Stellar is currently expanding State Fair's production office areas to accommodate their recent growth. State Fair Foods, a division of Sara Lee Corporation, is the world's largest manufacturer and marketer of corn dogs. State Fair Foods was established in 1953 and its products are available nationwide.

For information call Mark Sherwood at 800-488-2900.


Despite the U.S. dollar's high exchange value and lower prices for coffee, cocoa, and rubber than in 1998, imports of all noncompetitive products except bananas and spices are down.

Led by coffee and rubber, noncompetitive imports are down 13.5%,or $864 million, from last fiscal year. The continued cumulative increase in total imports is due to the $1 billion rise in competitive imports. Among these are horticultural products (+$986 million), fruits and juices (+$520 million), beverages (+$343 million), and red meat (+$221 million).

--Andy Jerardo, 202-694-5323.
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Publication:Frozen Food Digest
Article Type:Statistical Data Included
Date:Oct 1, 1999
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