WPS connects start-ups with equipment manufacturers to design the best facility

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Each year, nearly 20,000 new food products hit the shelves. Some portion of those products are coming from new food producers who are trying to enter the market with interesting and innovative items, from meat alternatives to new protein bars.

Experts have pointed toward a shift in the food manufacturing industry toward more niche items and smaller production to meet specific consumer trends, such as gluten-free items or natural foods. In Chicago, for example, 40 percent of food producing companies employed five people or less.

“You have this happening across the economy—a move toward slightly smaller, niche production. It's particularly true with food because it plays to a market demand trend for healthy and local and nutritional,” Robert Weissbourd of RW Ventures told Crain’s Chicago Business.

Whether these start-up food producers plan to use existing plant space or build their operations from the ground up, they need help navigating the ins and outs of what makes a successful food operation. Many of these entrepreneurs have started with a great product idea, literally cooked up in their home kitchens at first, but they don’t have the manufacturing background necessary to proceed.

As a first step, start-up food producers are likely to reach out to you – equipment manufacturers. They might know that they need a blend and batch system and a conveyor line, but they have no idea how to integrate those components with utilities and sanitation systems. They may need to be educated on compliance issues for their industry, and they most certainly could benefit from some expert guidance on designing an optimized processing line from beginning to end.

As these start-up food producers reach out to you, keep in mind that Wright Process Systems can help you close the deal by integrating your machines into an overall design that works best for their product. We can show them how to make the best use of your components in their processing line, as well as handle all the general contracting details they need to get their operation up and running.

To learn more about how Wright Process Systems can help you reach the start-up food market, contact us. Our years of experience as a general contractor and food-specific engineering firm can help make your project a success.