by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

The Frozen Chosen: Why you need to be in the freezer case at all times.

The Frozen Chosen: Why you need to be in the freezer case at all times.

Author: Ken Whah, President and CEO —

Delayed deliveries, poor inventory management, and inconsistent scheduling all strain relationships with your retail and club store customer, and eventually impact your overall freezer case success. Traditionally, the freezer case needed to be stocked for popular shopping days and times in order to serve brand loyal consumers carrying their pre-planned grocery list.

That’s changing.  More buying decisions are being made in the moment than ever before. Here’s five reasons why you need consistent, reliable stock in the freezer case at all times:

  1. High traffic and rising engagement.
    According to a 2018 IRI study, 99.4% of all grocery shoppers took a trip down the frozen food aisles and made a frozen purchase. Market penetration is exceptionally high, and engagement is spread across virtually all categories. For example, 87.5% of shoppers were drawn to ice cream and 79% were drawn to vegetables, which increases visibility and floor traffic for everything in between.
  1. High-frequency shoppers are on the rise.
    The 2019 Power of Frozen survey also confirms that shoppers are browsing and buying with increased frequency. 35% of households consume frozen food daily or every few days, and 52% of this core category is purchasing more than they did last year.
  1. Core consumers are impulsive.
    Frequent visitors to the store report that they make impulsive shopping decisions and have adventurous tastes. The 2019 data found that core shoppers want to try new things and use frozen convenience to test a wide variety of cuisines. This growing behavior trend happens in the moment, not when consumers are writing a list at home.
  1. Planning also leads to unplanned purchases.
    Even still, more traditional, planned trips lead to last-minute shopping decisions. According to the 2019 survey, 73% of all shoppers who planned a specific purchase left with at least one additional, unplanned item in their cart.
  1. Millennials are spending more and willing to explore.
    The IRI annual Consumer Connect survey measured all food dollar metrics. Data showed that millennials spent 21.5% more on food in March 2019 than they did the year before. Food inflation has risen at a rate of 1.7% but food spending by seniors and retirees still dropped 3.8%. Millennials are the demographic to watch.The 2018 Acosta Behind the Buy shopper survey agreed that millennials are spending more, and their buying decisions aren’t locked down. 48% of this target demographic reported that they are not brand loyal and will switch to make a different purchasing decision while they are in the store. Millennials are more likely to try a different brand if they find a better deal or discover something new to try, which is why constant stock and visibility are essential.

In the farm-to-fridge supply chain, there are many opportunities for delays, stock outs and spoilage. As a manufacturer, you need to balance consumer demands with production, and partner with a frozen food logistics provider who is completely reliable.

Hanson Logistics is the industry-leading expert in refrigerated warehousing and transportation. Let us help you serve more shoppers with in-the-moment decisions.

Other data referenced that was not in the PowerPoint:
https://cstoredecisions.com/2018/01/22/look-grocery-shoppers-generation/
https://www.winsightgrocerybusiness.com/fresh-food/do-millennials-spend-more-food 

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

5 Reasons to Bundle Transportation and Warehousing with One Provider

5 Reasons to Bundle Transportation and Warehousing with One Provider

Siloed logistics approaches don’t work in today’s cold chain shipping environment. Here’s how to centralize those functions and get back to doing what you do best.

With organizational silos rapidly giving way to more open and collaborative business styles, being able to “flatten out” the logistics function and bundle multiple services with a single provider is becoming more and more important.

“For both small and large transit companies, maintaining multiple locations or expanding into new markets involves lots of variables,” FleetOwner reports. “Exploring costs and service-bundling options could mean greater efficiencies and money saved—and a better chance of success.”

Here’s how cold chain shippers can benefit from bundling:

  1. Focus on your core competencies. No more running around, trying to oversee and micromanage multiple providers and getting them to “talk” to one another. When it’s all under one roof, your central transportation, warehousing, and logistics provider will handle it all for you and allow you to focus on what you do best: supply customers with refrigerated and frozen goods.
  2. Use your provider’s infrastructure to save time and money. Delegating multiple company functions—such as warehousing and distributing—to a single service provider can result in significant time and cost savings. “Bundling these services together with one provider serves to reduce the resources required for oversight as well as provides for economies of scale,” FleetOwner notes, “as a transportation and distribution provider can often utilize their infrastructure and purchasing power to reduce distribution and fleet cost.”
  3. Have a single point of contact. Bundling logistics services with a single provider means you need only make one phone call, send one email, or schedule one meeting to get everything you need. Because this provider will serve as your focal point, you’ll avoid the wasted time, effort, and cost associated with tracking down multiple providers to get your questions answered or problems solved.
  4. Get consistent results. If you’ve historically used multiple providers for your cold chain transportation and warehousing needs, then you probably understand pains like inconsistent service levels, fluctuating rates, and unpredictable outcomes. By bundling these services with a single provider, you can avoid these uncertainties and focus on getting consistent results from one business partner.
  5. Create a win-win partnership. When companies skip around from supplier to supplier, they never really get the chance to create true, lasting partnerships with those providers. By putting the time and effort into working with one logistics provider, companies can create win-win collaborations that can help them shepherd their cold chains through even the toughest logistics environments (i.e., the current driver shortage and capacity crunches).

Demand for next-day delivery, the driver shortage, and rising transportation rates are all pushing cold chain distributors to find ways to work smarter, better, and faster in today’s transportation environment. In their quest to manage more volume and deal with more complex customer demands than they’ve ever faced in the past, more shippers are bundling fulfillment, warehousing, and shipping with single providers that can meet all of their current needs while also helping them prepare for the future.

To improve your cold chain shipping efficiency, contact us today to learn how Hanson can help.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

U.S. Growers Thrive as Consumers Load Up on Fruits and Veggies

U.S. Growers Thrive as Consumers Load Up on Fruits and Veggies

Spring planting time is here and as the produce season kicks into full gear it looks as if 2018 will be another good year for the nation’s food growers. With consumer tastes continuing to tilt in the direction of fresher, local, and more wholesome meal options, the companies that supply fruits and vegetables are in high demand. According to Packaged Fact’s Fresh Produce: U.S. Market Trends and Opportunities report, consumers’ consumption of fresh produce grew steadily—albeit modestly at about 1.3%— between 2011 and 2016. Those moderate annual gains are expected to continue over the next several years through 2021. “Fruit and vegetable producers benefited from steady growth among the U.S. population, as well as from the fact that all age groups have high usage rates, especially Gen X adults,” says Packaged Facts’ David Sprinkle in a press release. “Fruits and vegetables are expected to continue experiencing growth in niche areas as consumers persist in seeking out novel flavors from around the world. Increases in disposable personal income will support purchases of premium fruits and vegetables, including non-GMO, organic, and locally grown types. Also, marketing strategies focusing on health and the delicious taste of fresh produce will help fruits and vegetables to expand their appeal and per capita consumption.”

Millennials Love Frozen Foods

Frozen foods are on a tear this year, and both fruit and vegetable growers are benefitting from consumers’ renewed interest in frozen options. Forty-three percent of Millennial shoppers said they have purchased more frozen foods this year than last year, according to a new report from Acosta. The frozen food revival also crosses generational lines, with 27% of GenXers, 19% of Baby Boomers, and 19% of the Silent Generation are also buying more frozen this year. Acosta attributes the growth to several industry trends, including:
  • Convenience drives prepared meals, and frozen meals enable consumers to have a stock of meals whenever they are out of time/ ideas/ fresh ingredients
  • Health and wellness – frozen food enables companies to offer longer shelf life without preservatives; textures are maintained without the use of artificial ingredients, and manufacturers are able to offer niche products at a better price point, including vegan options.
  • Better value for the money – hectic, unpredictable meal consumption leads to a staggering amount of food waste, and frozen food decreases the amount of food spoilage.
  • The rise of breakfast – with the search for new breakfast options, consumers are warming up to breakfast sandwiches and other frozen baked goods.

Nutritious and Natural Both Rank High

Right now, Food Industry Executive says grocery shopping preferences are “trending heavily toward nutritious, natural foods from transparent manufacturers that share their health goals.” Successful manufacturers are following suit, the publication reports, while convenient and healthy frozen options from restaurant-style appetizers to full dinners and desserts are “revitalizing the frozen food aisle, despite the common belief that fresh trumps frozen.” Packaged Facts points to the Green Giant brand as a good example of how frozen food marketers are getting back on track. The brand changed hands in November 2015, when B&G Foods purchased it from General Mills for $765 million and began breathing new life into the brand. In less than a year it was rolling out a series of new and innovative Green Giant frozen products, including veggie tots, a “kid-friendly, mom-approved alternative to potato tots and French fries that are filled with vegetables such as cauliflower or broccoli instead of potatoes; riced veggies, made from 100% vegetables and with no sauce or seasoning, are positioned as alternatives to traditional rice; and mashed cauliflower, an alternative to the typical potato side dish. “Since the acquisition of this iconic brand, we have been working tirelessly to meet consumer desire for new, delicious ways to incorporate more vegetables into their daily lives,” Robert Cantwell, chief executive officer of B&G Foods told Packaged Facts. “This consumer desire has inspired the creation of new Green Giant frozen innovations, as well as the brand’s modernized persona, with the intention of bringing back the Green Giant with a purpose — adding more vegetables to America’s plates.”

Addressing Logistics Challenges

As produce season heats up, both manufacturers and their logistics providers are keeping an eye on capacity, rates, regulatory changes, and other issues that could impact their supply chains. With U.S. crop volumes growing between May and July—and due to the time-sensitivity of such shipments—expect available frozen and refrigerated capacity to shrink and rates to rise accordingly. “Tight U.S. truck capacity and rising rates marked the first quarter of 2018, and the outlook for the remainder of the year is more of the same, if not worse,” JOC reports. “That is the dilemma for shippers of perishable goods, especially food, who are seeing growing demand from buyers, on the one hand, tempered by a capacity crunch on the other.”
by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Our Role in Exceptional Customer Experience

Our Role in Exceptional Customer Experience

As many of you know, March is National Frozen Foods month. Thanks to the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association, Inc. (NFRA) for their recently launched promotional efforts on why frozen food continues to offer an excellent value with minimal waste. Their points are spot on:

  • A wide variety of single serve and small plate options – portion control at its best.
  • Requires little preparation – the picking, cleaning, slicing and dicing are already done.
  • Flash-freezing technology delivers “perfect preservation,” freezing at the peak of freshness, right from the field or sea.
  • Your favorite foods are always in season.
  • Eco-friendly packaging is keeping frozen foods fresher longer and retaining more nutrients.
  • New brands and product lines are aligned with current health trends.
  • No spoilage or food waste – use what you need and put the rest back in the freezer. Money-saving!

This impact is hitting home as well as the Hanson Logistics teammates gathered at the America Frozen Food Institue’s, AFFI Con 2018, where the enthusiasm for the future of the frozen foods industry is optimistic. That said, the vast majority of growth appears to be in developing countries, while the U.S. enjoys a modest uptick in frozen food sales.

Late last year, an Acosta 2017 Insights Report pointed to the fact that 43 percent of Millennials are shopping frozen more frequently. All generational demographics indicated an increase in frozen food purchases, including 43 percent of Millennials; 27 percent of GenXers; 19 percent of Baby Boomers; and 19 percent of Silents.

While we’re not involved in the development or marketing of frozen food products, we can — and do — make a contribution to the consumer’s experience. On time, in full delivery of freezer case ready appetizers, bakery, entrée, and dessert items is our task at hand. Providing our customers with supply chain transparency, Class A warehouse space, accurate picking, and refrigerated truck capacity as needed is a behind-the-scenes scenario unfamiliar to most. The majority of consumers grabbing a quick bite or serving dinner to friends and family don’t give much thought to the growers and processors, warehouse and customer service staff, and drivers who make it all happen.

At that’s OK. Just keep making your selection from the freezer case, and we’ll keep fulfilling our “Yes, We Can” promise. Thanks again to our friends at NFRA and AFFI for their role in making it all happen.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Maximizing Quality in the Global Cold Supply Chain

Maximizing Quality in the Global Cold Supply Chain

Moving a shipment across the supply chain without suffering any setbacks or temperature anomalies requires the establishment of a comprehensive logistical process to maintain the shipment integrity.

The cold supply chain, for example, is getting more and more difficult to manage as regulatory issues, carrier capacity crunches, the need for sophisticated technology platforms, and driver shortages all take a toll on a firm’s ability to make the best possible transportation decisions.

In fact, these challenges can make maintaining the in-house expertise needed to stay profitable nearly impossible. Maximizing Quality and Profits in Cold Chain Logistics, author Pat Hughes notes that the most common causes of profit loss in the cold supply chain include temperature abuse, humidification abuse, ethylene/CO2 abuse, microbial growth damage, and damage due to mishandling.

5 Key Considerations

In The Geography of Transport Systems, Hofstra University’s Jean-Paul Rodrigue notes that the process includes several phases that range from the preparation of the shipments to final verification of the integrity of the shipment at the delivery point. Each of these can impact the supplier’s profits:

  • Shipment preparation. When a temperature sensitive product is being moved, the shipment itself should already be at the desired temperature.
  • Modal choice. “Distance between the origin and the final destination (which often includes a set of intermediary locations), the size and weight of the shipment, the required exterior temperature environment and time restrictions (perishability) of the product all affect the available transportation options”, Rodrigue points out.
  • Customs procedures. “If the freight crosses boundaries, custom procedures become critical”, Rodrigue writes, “since cold chain products tend to be time sensitive and more subject to inspection than regular freight (e.g. produce, pharmaceuticals, and biological samples).
  • The last mile. “Key considerations when arranging a final delivery concern not only the destination,” he notes, “but also the timing of the delivery so the critical labor and warehousing space is available.”
  • Integrity and quality assurance. “After the shipment has been delivered, any temperature recording devices or known temperature anomalies must be recorded and made known”, Rodrigue points out.

“The setting and operation of cold chains is dependent on the concerned supply chains since each cargo unit to be carried has different requirements in terms of demand, load integrity, and transport integrity,” Rodrigue concludes. “Because of the additional tasks involved as well as the energy required for the refrigeration unit, transportation costs for cold chain products are much higher than for regular goods.”

As one of the fastest growing 3PLs in the cold chain industry, Hanson Logistics moves millions of pounds of freight across the country for many of the most respected brands. Leverage Hanson’s extensive transportation carrier network, technology, and expertise to assure efficiency and service are delivered on time and at rates that allow your company to exceed its own profit expectations.

by Hanson Logistics Hanson Logistics

Down with Red Tape: Compelling Reasons to Work with Smaller, Family-Owned Service Providers

Down with Red Tape: Compelling Reasons to Work with Smaller, Family-Owned Service Providers

Defined by Merriam-Webster as a system of government or business that has many complicated rules and ways of doing things, “bureaucracy” is often used to describe the inner workings of any organization that tends to operate with a lot of red tape, rules, policies, and decision makers. Hanson Logistics, on the other hand, has effectively bucked this trend and instead focuses on making it easy for customers of all sizes—and across numerous industries—to do business with it.

Counted among the largest refrigerated public warehouses in the country, Hanson is smaller than the conglomerates and internationally held PRWs.  Smaller companies are well known for their agility, growth potential, and ability to turn on a dime when the market calls for it, and Hanson is no exception.

Add “family-owned” to the equation and the attention to customer service, longevity, and sustainability becomes that much more focused. Rather than concentrating on what’s best for shareholders, for example, smaller firms empower their employees to make decisions instead of just deferring to corporate management. These qualities translate into less bureaucracy and more personal client and supplier relationships.

“When looking for a company to do business with, whether that’s as a supplier, a distributor, or service provider, it can be easy to go straight to the biggest names in the field,” notes Complete Biz Systems’ Size Matters: The Benefits of Doing Business with a Small Company. “However, when you look at the day-to-day reality of business, smaller companies often offer much more in return, providing you with a personal service that could suit your requirements far better than any global corporation ever could.” Just a few of those benefits include:

  • Understanding:  A small company is far more likely to recognize how your business works and what it needs to grow.
  • Accountability:  In large national or international companies, finding the person who is responsible for dealing with your query or complaint can be almost impossible.
  • Accessibility:  When contacting a small company, they’ll know exactly who you need to speak to, and if they’re not in the office, should be able to help you get in touch quickly.
  • Personal service:  Smaller operations are far more likely to take each client on individually, talking through their exact requirements and molding products and services to suit those needs. This way, you get a much more practical and targeted solution for your business needs.
  • Price:  Big businesses may be able to offer competitive prices due to the volume of business that they take on, but generally small companies will be able to offer you better deals on their products.

According to the National Research Center, other great reasons to work with small businesses include the ability to easily build relationships with owners and staff (and perhaps even feel like they’ve become part of a “family”); the opportunity to support the nation’s biggest job creators; and the fact that small business owners are generally experts in their field. This makes them better equipped to answer complex questions or provide innovative solutions for their customers.

For more information on how to leverage Hanson Logistics’ strength as a small, family-run logistics provider please visit us online at www.hansonlogistics.com.