It’s been 10 months since I joined Candy Industry, but it wasn’t until a week ago that I had a chance to partake in an event hosted by the Retail Confectioners International (RCI). I didn’t realize it, but I was in for a treat.
June is also National Candy Month. While it’s a great excuse to savor some of our favorite treats, it also offers an opportunity to reflect on some of the positive trends and developments in our industry.
Given that the National Confectioners Association (NCA)’s Innovation Awards were to be announced the next day at 11:30 on the first day of the Sweets & Snacks Expo, which was held May 23-25 at McCormick Place in Chicago, I was thrilled to get a sneak preview.
And this year, they even have machines talking to themselves. It’s dubbed Industry 4.0. As Wikipedia explains, “Industry 4.0 is the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. It includes cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things and cloud computing.”
With all the recent gyrations going on in the confectionery industry, I thought it might be wise to get some outside perspective. Periodically I get a publication called U.S. Talking Points from Rabobank, written by senior analyst Nick Fereday. It’s essentially a brief on recent events affecting the food and beverage industries, peppered with Fereday’s observations.