PepsiCo Recognizes Sunsweet Growers as Hot Fill Co-Packer of the Year
Sunsweet Growers Inc. may be best known among consumers for its dried fruit line, but it has a lot more to offer to the food industry – the Yuba City, CA-based company is also known for its bottling and co-packing services, services for which the company is well recognized and appreciated by its industry partners. In fact, today PepsiCo gave Sunsweet Growers some hefty recognition by naming its Yuba City facility as its Hot Fill Co-Packer of the Year for 2013.
This is a significant recognition for Sunsweet Growers, but it isn’t the first: this is Sunsweet’s fourth time winning PepsiCo’s Co-Packer of the Year Award, and its second consecutive year in a row – its previous wins include 2012 and 2007 for its Yuba City facility, plus a win in 2008 for its facility in Fleetwood, PA.
Sunsweet has been in a co-packing partnership with PepsiCo since 2002. According to the global beverage and snack brand, which chose Sunsweet Growers from among seventy co-packing contenders based on qualifiers like cost and customer service, this award acknowledges the co-packer for its hard work and achievements throughout PepsiCo’s North America supply chain.
"We have supreme confidence in Sunsweet, as they provide high quality, production efficiency and the development of innovative packaging to bring to the marketplace. Further, Sunsweet's flexibility and skill in execution gives us an advantage over the competition," said Art Lawrence, Vice President of Contract Manufacturing at PepsiCo, within a press release issued by Sunsweet. “We are pleased to recognize Sunsweet – Yuba City with our Co-packer of the year for the second consecutive year and the first partner to win the award in consecutive years.”
Meanwhile, Sunsweet credited its team with securing the award through hard work and high standards of excellence. “We are continually proud of our people and their commitment to meeting the highest standards and for their ability to drive products to market quickly to align with key consumer trends” said Dane Lance, Sunsweet President & CEO. “In the ultra-competitive beverage industry, it’s critical to drive production efficiencies, exceed challenging goals and operate on tight deadlines. When PepsiCo introduces new products or has immediate distribution needs, we have been able to meet their needs while maintaining standards of the highest quality.” It is because of our highly dedicated employees that we are receiving this award. This incredible group of employees, many of whom have been with our company for a significant number of years, understands what it takes to be the best in our industry. I could not be more proud of our employees for being the first honored in back to back years.”
“PepsiCo has extremely high quality standards and we feel honored to be recognized for meeting such high expectations set forth by an incredible company,” added Matt Kelly, Sunsweet Vice President of Manufacturing. “At Sunsweet we challenge ourselves to be the best and to be the recipient of this award in back to back years is an incredible accomplishment.”
New inclusive restaurant in New York, Contento
After a difficult year for the hospitality industry, a new New York restaurant, Contento, has raised the bar, by making it accessible to those with disabilities.
Contento beverage director, Yannick Benjamin, who uses a wheelchair, was tired of straining his neck each time he looked up at a customer. He and business partner George Gallego, who also uses a wheelchair, have designed a restaurant for people with disabilities to enjoy for a glass of wine or a night out, as the world gets back to normal.
Contento is a barrier free restaurant, inclusive of those with disabilities
Over the pandemic period, working from home has led to the evolution of hybrid working, an option which gives equal access to those with a disability.
Now as life gets back to normal, some hospitality businesses are adapting to make sure their buildings are inclusive.
Contento is a ‘barrier free restaurant’ where all customers are welcomed and catered for.
At Contento, half of the bar is low enough for people in wheelchairs to come up and order a drink, without the bartender looking down at them.
"There's a power dynamic that's quite annoying," said Benjamin. "I'm looking at [customers] and I've got to strain my neck."
But at Contento, customers who use a wheelchair can be eye-to-eye with Benjamin when they order. In addition:
- The space between tables is wide enough for wheelchairs to pass in between (which will also be useful for social distancing).
- Customers with visual impairments can scan a QR code on the menu, to have the menu read out loud to them.
The new normal is inclusive
15% of the world’s population lives with a disability. Each of these people deserve a seat at the table in their local bar.
"The key is that anyone who has a disability would be able to walk in here freely and comfortably," said Benjamin.
The world may be slowly getting back to normal, but for some, it will be even better.