Food Manufacturer of Healthy Snacks Recognized for its Innovation

posted on: Thursday January 23, 2014

DSC_6717Manufacturing.net has been counting down its list of Most Innovative Industrial Companies for 2013, and it recently named Bolthouse Farms its number one pick.

The manufacturing industry has been dealing with a lot of change lately, implementing new ideas to recover from the recession and continue to grow. Lean manufacturing, reshoring, aging workforce, labor shortages, and the healthcare bill have all been hot topics recently. They are present in several of manufacturing.net’s highlighted companies. For example: “Our #9 pick is DGI Supply, which uses consolidation as a long-term business strategy that integrates the needs of the organization with a technique to troubleshoot the challenges of an aging workforce in a still-thriving industry” (manufacturing.net.) Also, “#7 is Beaverton Foods, Inc., which we picked because of its ability to remain flexible, specializing in small-batch recipes and the ability to change the facility to a new process in record time.”

It is exciting and encouraging to see how these companies are using innovation that we are familiar with to catapult their success. What is special about Bothouse Farms, however, is that they are recognized for their innovation of their product, and the product supports the wellbeing of the public.

Bolthouse Farms was a family-owned, commercial vegetable farming operation in Western Michigan at its start in 1915. It supplied carrots to Midwest processors like Gerber, Heinz, and Campbell’s. They marketed the first bagged carrots in 1959. The company’s focus throughout the years has remained carrot products, but it has incorporated other fruits and vegetables into its products – which since 2002 have been organically farmed.  The company has a line of smoothies as well as yogurt-based refrigerated salad dressings, two delicious ways to boost the nutrition content of your diet.

A year ago, Bolthouse Farms opened its Innovation Center where employees can further the research and development of new and existing products. Foodmanufacturing.com featured an article about it, “A Fresh Take on Innovation,” in July of 2013. Author Lindsey Jahn wrote, “’Our investment in consumer research and new innovations in food science will enable us to attract additional world-class talent to increase consumers’ access to high quality, nutritious and affordable products,’ says Jeff Dunn, CEO of Bolthouse Farms.” Jahn further describes: “The collaboration of the Innovation Center and Bakersfield plant also allows Bolthouse to successfully use a combination of technology and food science to achieve the company’s goal of creating fresh products without compromising safety. The processing facility utilizes HPP technology in the production of dressings and some beverages and harnesses flash pasteurization to help ensure food safety.”

Bolthouse is focused on flavor and bringing the latest in fruits and vegetables (like goji berry and pomegranate trends) to the public in fantastic new ways. Jahn wrote, “One example of Bolthouse’s produce innovation efforts is the release of Baby Carrot Shakedowns. Available in chili lime and ranch flavors, the carrot snack is packaged in a bag that keeps the baby carrots at the bottom and a pocket of seasoning on top. Consumers pop the seasoning pocket, and the flavoring is released onto the carrots for a freshly seasoned treat.”

The company genuinely wants to make healthier, non-processed foods more available and desirable to the public. This is the perfect time for such innovation. People are continuing to switch to healthier foods, from buying organic to eliminating animal products from their diets. With Netflix being so popular, the vast number of documentaries about health and food is influencing more and more Americans. This is inspiring people to make healthier choices, but many struggle to find a feasible way to do so long-term. It is great to see a company that makes healthy food options just as accessible and convenient as junk food at the top of manufacturing.net’s list.

It is also interesting to see how innovation can be accomplished in so many ways. Toyota is a primary trendsetter in the world of innovative techniques. They achieve success through innovative management and operational tactics. In Bolthouse’s case, it was recognized for the innovation of its product – its non-technological, unprocessed product. “With its drive to provide the freshest, healthiest products available, Bolthouse Farms is sure to continue developing some of the most unique and innovative products seen in the produce aisle” (Jahn.)

There is room for innovation of all varieties in the world of manufacturing. It’s worth noting that the innovation that seems to be getting the greatest results is within companies that also stick to its core values and missions. They do right by their company founders, their employees, and their customers. They have a solid core, and it makes a difference.

Load Mover Inc is proud to build equipment that has been innovative in the world of ergonomics. Their walk-behind power tugs help manual material handlers do their jobs more safely and efficiently. Load Movers tugs have been proven to boost productivity and morale. They do the work of pushing and pulling, and have replaced lift trucks in forklift-free environments. For more information, search this site, email info@loadmoverinc.com, or call 952-767-1720. Our Load Mover experts are committed to quality equipment and customer service.