Agriculture, restaurants, grocery stores, and food shipment trucks, among other things, combine to form the massive food industry as we know it. Food solutions often focuses on ways to improve the freshness of food for longer, and keeping perishable items from “going bad” during transit or in storage. Better farming methods and transportation alike can keep food affordable, fresh, and available for consumers across the United States.
The Business of Food
Food solutions work to ensure that the food industry keeps the perishable food business going strong, as well as direct store delivery and more. Around the world, food is a considerable slice of all industry; the global industry for food and agriculture in the year 2016 was about 10% of the entire world’s GDP, and in the United States, food is a big deal. The Food and Drug Administration, the FDA regulates $417 billion worth of domestic food and $49 billion worth of imported food from around the world, and in the following year, almost 75 million metric tons of fresh food market goods were available in the United States. The total for 2018 is expected to be around 76 million. Plenty of power and work goes toward all this food: 80% of freshwater, 10% of all available energy, and 50% of American land are all dedicated to the growing of crops and livestock. Specialty foods are also popular, and sales in that industry grew 15% between 2014 and 2016, to make a total of $127 billion in sales.
Transport, Storage, and Safety for Food
Finding food solutions means finding ever more efficient and practical ways to cultivate and transport food between the farm and the dinner table. Delivery option for restaurants and grocery stores may vary, based on the business’s budget, the items it stocks, and the location. Delivering perishable goods calls for specialized vehicles and equipment. Often, reefer trucks are a good way to deliver heat-sensitive items, such as steaks, chicken meat, juices, dairy, and more. These trucks have air conditioning units built into them that regulate the temperature of the cargo area, keeping the perishable cargo safe during transport. Any grocery store would invest in hiring truck companies that offer reefer trucks so that milk, eggs, beef, breakfast juice, and more arrive in good condition. Less sensitive items such as starches or canned goods may arrive in regular supply trucks instead.
Food inventory management software can be very helpful for any grocery store or restaurant that must keep track of the flow or cycle of food items it receives and sells. Having too much of one item means no room for stock in freezers or shelves (which can be a disaster for perishable items), or else running out of an item and upsetting customers. Today, grocery store staff and restaurant managers can make use of digital food solutions to keep inventory at just the right levels and order items when they are needed, and in the right quantity to keep pace with demand. A grocery store or restaurant that is enjoying strong business could even invest in more freezers or refrigerators to carry more stock at a time, and outside labor can be hired to help install these items. Also, food solutions may involve inspections of freezers, refrigerators, and the perishable foods inside to make sure that everything is up to safety standards and protocol, since food poisoning can be a major blow to any grocery store or restaurant’s business. As long as all meats and dairy items are being stored safely in the correct environments, and nothing is past its expiration date, a store or restaurant is ready to sell fine foods to all customers.