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.
Amidst Russian meddling in the presidential elections, North Korea’s saber-rattling, the horror in Syria and attempts to replace Obamacare, there’s another crisis President Trump will soon face: the annual White House Easter Egg Roll.
Public Health England (PHE), an executive agency of the United Kingdom’s Department of Health, last week released guidelines for sweets manufacturers to cut sugar levels by 20 percent over the next three years.
What I find most interesting about these latest deals, however, is that this marks the first time that these two companies will be producing confections on U.S. soil, particularly since both of these involve giants who have production facilities scattered throughout the world.
But a week later, 1-800-Flowers.com, Fannie May’s New York-based parent company, announced it would sell the brand -- along with the Harry London brand, an Ohio manufacturing facility, two warehouses and 79 retail stores -- to Ferrero International for $115 million.
At this month’s State-of-the-Industry Conference organized by the National Confectioners Association, several speakers reinforced the health and wellness trend as it applies to confections and snacks. At an early morning supplier member meeting featuring executives from Mondelez International, it became clear that this multinational’s focus rests on “well-being snacks.”
Fannie May is undeniably among the city’s confectionery elite, not only for its signature sweets, but for its ability to underscore the company’s Chicago connection and to reach residents and tourists alike. And those are things the company never forgets to celebrate, says Fannie May President Steve Druckman.