Major Topics in 2015 for Food and Beverage Packagers

A recent article by Dave Fusaro for Food Processing magazine talks to the Food & Beverage Industry about "Four Scary Things You'll Face in 2015". After a brief summary of the article we will quickly discuss the how these changes may also affect the packaging machinery in use in the Food & Beverage Industry. The four likely changes coming in 2015, as noted by Mr. Fusaro, include a ban on PHO's, new dietary guidelines, some type of national GMO policy and a continued call for greater transparency in the industry.

The ban on partially hydrogenated oils might mean a change in the ingredient list for some Food & Beverage Industry packagers in the near future. While it is unlikely that a change of ingredients will have a major effect on the packaging machinery being used by any packager, there is still that possibility. Obviously a change in ingredients can change the flow or viscosity of a product. Changing the viscosity of a product may require some modification or adjustment to the machinery used to fill that product. Almost all filling machines are built to run a range of viscosities and the substitution of one oil for another is not likely to create a drastic change in most products. However, equipment may need to be recalibrated or modified to handle a change in the products due to a new, or substitute ingredient.

New dietary guidelines are announced every five years, with 2015 bringing the newest installment. While these guidelines may not have any influence on packaging equipment in the field now, they do influences consumer choice, funding, diet plans and much more. The influence of these guidelines can have an effect on who in the industry will be looking for new equipment as well as the type of equipment sought.

As the debate around genetically modified organisms (GMO's) continues in 2015, with the Federal Government gearing up to make a move. Though the move may not be as bold as many would wish, there is no doubt that consumers, more and more, want to know what is in their food. From a packaging machinery standpoint, new labeling regulations or even the simple desire to promote a product as non-GMO may have an effect on how those in the industry label their products. In many cases, the labels themselves will be the changing component, but for some, a different type or method of labeling may also be required.

Finally, an all encompassing category such as greater transparency across the board means that consumers are expecting honesty and truth from the food and beverage packagers, from the ingredients to the labeling and the packaging process itself. With sustainability remaining an important part of the packaging process, the machines used to complete this process may eventually be scrutinized just as carefully as the list of ingredients on the side of the package. Machinery manufacturers must provide safe equipment, both for the operators and for the environment, while keeping the process sanitary for many in this industry.

While packaging machinery manufacturers may not be the main focus of the changes coming in 2015, these changes do effect our industry in many ways, including those states above. Packaging machinery manufacturers are nothing if not partners to the Food & Beverage Industry and must also remain on watch for the changes brewing this year.

For the full article by Dave Fusaro, visit Food Processing magazine online.