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Frito-Lay’s snack production goes green

BY Tara Smith

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. Frito-Lay’s parent company, PepsiCo, is attempting to get its Casa Grande plant, used in the production of Doritos and Lay’s potato chips, to generate its own power and recycle water at the facility, a step toward “green” snack production.

“Our ultimate goal will be to get the plant off the water, natural gas and electricity grid … Creating a ‘net-zero’ environmental impact,” said Al Halvorsen, the energy and utilities manager for Frito-Lay.

Though company officials don’t have a cost estimate yet, they say the expense will be justified in what they learn about conservation. Though the company may not build another net-zero plant, they plan to take what they learn at the Casa Grande plant and apply that knowledge to its 37 other facilities in North America. Currently, the Arizona plant reuses its water to grow feed crops on some of its surrounding acreage.

To further conservation efforts, the plant will install a water-cleaning system that will allow it to reuse most of its industrial water to wash vegetables, a solar-power project is planned and the plant will incorporate a biomass-burning energy generator. Details as to whether Arizona Public Service or Frito-Lay will run the power facilities still are being worked out, according to Halvorsen. The final plan for the plant will be submitted to PepsiCo in March, with a “net-zero” operation expected to start running in 2010. The effort will add some marketing mileage for the company—the plant will add SunChips to its lines, providing a good tie-in for its solar project.

Some of the company’s other plants currently employ some efforts to save energy, including a Texas plant that burns landfill gas to heat its boiler and one in Connecticut that recaptures some of its heat to make steam. The company’s largest distribution center in the country, located near Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, recently added a solar-power system. Dedicated to conservation since 1999, the company also is developing hybrid delivery vehicles.

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IRM and Trackmax Solutions Form Strategic Partnership

BY Tara Smith

DALLAS Information technology leaders in the food and beverage industry IRM Corporation and Trackmax Solutions on Wednesday announced the formation of a strategic partnership—bringing together the leading software systems of both organizations to create new solutions to optimize the value of purchase and sales transactions, as well as deliver unique sales and profit analysis capabilities for foodservice manufacturer and distributor communities.

IRM, whose clients include Nestle and Frito-Lay, is a leading innovator in business intelligence, forecasting, promotion management and analytics while Trackmax Solutions, which partners with—among others—Frosty Acres and the Federated Group, is the leading transaction-based tracking, forecasting, analytics and profit optimization software developer.

The companies will integrate IRM’s Discover System, currently used by nearly 200 Food and Beverage manufacturers and distributors, with Trackmax Solutions’ Earned Income Profit Optimizer to deliver unmatched capabilities in analysis and reporting. The integration of Trackmax Solutions’ newly developed Trade Spend Optimizer product and IRM’s established Discovery and PromoAssist solutions will provide foodservice manufacturers with the most comprehensive analytical toolset for assessing trade promotion activities.

Trackmax Solutions’ Trade Spend Optimizer is a centralized tracking system that captures all “at-invoice” and “after-invoice” trade spend dollars, giving accountability to an organization’s trade and promotions spending. Aligned with Discovery System’s ability to quickly identify hidden opportunities within disparate business data and PromoAssist’s customizable trade spend workflow engine, manufacturers will realize unmatched tracking and reporting benefits from this full-featured, fully integrated trade spend management system.

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Kraft offers new menu options for South Beach Living

BY Tara Smith

NORTHFIELD, Ill. To help consumers eat healthier and manage their weight, South Beach Living foods from Kraft—formerly South Beach Diet foods—is introducing 13 new menu options that promote a healthy lifestyle starting this month.

Among the new good options is the South Beach Living Tide Me Over drink mix, which helps satisfy hunger between meals and is available in strawberry banana and tropical breeze flavors. The drink mixes are sugar-free and contain only 30 calories, we well as fiber and protein.

The South Beach Living Snack Packs, available in dark chocolate-covered soynuts and energy mix, are portion-controlled packs that contain three grams of protein and 160 calories per serving. The line’s frozen entrees will launch three new offerings that feature lean meats and vegetables for 340 calories or less. The new varieties include meatloaf with gravy, roasted turkey and chicken Santa Fe style rice and beans.

Also among the new South Beach Living line are two heart-healthy cereals, available in vanilla almond crunch and strawberry harvest crunch, that contain 31 grams of whole grain per serving, as well as at least nine essential vitamins and minerals. The line’s granola clusters, in mixed berry and cherry almond flavors, are high in fiber and include six grams of protein per serving.

The South Beach Living foods will continue to offer the same nutritious dishes based on the principles of the South Beach Diet. Ryan Clark, director of marketing for South Beach Living foods expects the name change, as well as the new product introductions, will “help people adopt life-long healthy eating habits and help the brand continue on its growth trajectory.”

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