PACA Foods: Hurricane Irma Update

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


Hurricane Irma Update:

Hurricane Irma was a beast of a storm that has affected many people. Fortunately, there was not been any loss of life or major injury for PACA associates and their families. The storm’s movement away from Tampa along with the extensive precautions that were undertaken prior to the storm’s arrival were instrumental in maintaining the integrity of the plant with only minimal damage. As a result, we expect to be partially operational today and fully operational tomorrow.

Many thanks to those of you who kept in touch and offered your prayers…we are greatly appreciative of that. We also want to thank you for your patience.

We will be contacting you about your purchase orders as soon as we are able to address any potential delays.

Thank you for your business and for your continued support.


Michael Shepardson

President and CEO

407.257.1010 (cell)


PACA Foods Hurricane Preparation

To our valued customers and vendors:

As hurricane Irma moves through the Caribbean on a track for Florida, PACA has been busy maintaining our production as well as implementing our Hurricane Readiness Plan. Ensuring the safety and welfare of our associates and their families is our top priority. So too is protecting our plant and its contents. In order to fulfill these priorities, PACA is planning to cease all production at end of business Friday (September 8th).

The magnitude of this hurricane (size and strength) is unprecedented and it is expected that there will be significant damage in Florida. At the time of this writing, the actual path of the storm is unknown. While the rain and wind is expected to pass by Tampa on Tuesday (regardless of the path), PACA is not expecting to resume production before Thursday (September 14th). Additionally, there will be no deliveries accepted from Friday (Sept 8) – Thursday (Sept 14).

Please know we will endeavor to resume operations as rapidly as possible and we will provide an update as soon as we are able.

From Friday pm until Wednesday am, if you should try to reach our office and the phone number is not working, please call 407.257.1010.

Thank you for your business and for your understanding.

Michael Shepardson President and CEO

Free-From Label Foods

With a steady increase in the existence of allergies or intolerances in the United States, there is little that can be done but accommodate for these and try to avoid irritating or harmful ingredients. Once upon a time, avoidance diets were typically motivated by weight loss. However, as new generations learn about health and diet, avoidance diets have become a way to manage allergies, digestive problems, and other issues apart from general fitness.

According to an article on Food Business News, “The C.D.C. found that allergies among children increased approximately 50% between 1997 and 2011, and today, approximately one in every 13 children (under 18 years of age) in the United States has one or more food allergies.” There are little to no studies that successfully reveal the direct cause of such an increase, because of the widespread range of influencing factors. More recent studies reveal things like gluten and lactose as digestive irritants, and more and more people are discovering their intolerance for foods containing these irritants. Because it is difficult to determine the cause of an allergen or irritant – much less eliminate allergies entirely; avoidance is truly the only sure fast way to guard against a negative reaction.

Clean Label Foods

Awareness of health and wellness has increased as generations are becoming more informed about intolerances, allergens and sensitivities, as well as fitness and general dietary health. A simple knowledge that fats and sugars cause weight gain has expanded to an increased knowledge about super foods that promote health, as well as foods that cause digestive issues or artificial ingredients that are impossible to measure the consequences of. Because of this, more people are looking for labels like “non-GMO,” “gluten free,” or “lactose free.” Simple labels like “fat free” or “sugar free” no longer suffice for the health conscious consumer. Consumers are searching for clean label foods with simple ingredients that have as little preservatives and additives as possible.

As more studies about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) come to surface, uncertainty rises and nondescript packaging or ingredient lists make it difficult to know what is truly GMO or non-GMO. Having these options available for consumers is imperative for a company who is dedicated to the consumer.

“Free-From” Labels

Consumers are now looking for “free-from” labels. This trend is turning a previously niche market into a popular health-minded lifestyle. Diets that include gluten-free or lactose-free options are becoming more accessible to the every day person.

Established in 1991, PACA Foods is a dry-blended food-product manufacturer specializing in spices, nutrients, flour and sugar-based products. PACA Food’s high-quality products are custom-produced and private-labeled for retail, food service and industrial customers. PACA Foods Inc. is committed to its customers and offers an extensive variety of certified products, including organic, non-GMO, gluten-free and clean label options. Dedicated to understanding the unique characteristics of your company, PACA Food’s provides extraordinary quality in product and service to its customers. Click here to view our products and contact us today to see how we can help your company succeed in the ever-developing food industry.



What іs Co-Packing?

You may not know it, but you hаvе probably purchased а product, at some point in your life, thаt hаs been co-packed.

Co-packing is defined as the outsourcing of the packaging of a product. It with a manufactured product hаs arriving іn thе co-packer’s warehouse. A company will hire a co-packer when they don’t have the necessary packing capacity, machinery, or knowledge to package their product themselves.

Essentially, co-packing involves thе transformation оf а raw, unpackaged product into а product that is ready to be sold on store shelves. This usually involves packaging activities like:

  • Price labeling
  • Multi-packs
  • Shrink-wrapped products
  • On-Packs (leaflet, sample, etc.)
  • Special packaging
  • Displays

What аrе thе benefits оf co-packing?

Third-party co-packers hаvе thе expertise, resources, аnd staff tо professionally implement special point of sale packaging. For the manufacturer, this means increased management of costs, greater product visibility, and flexibility.

From acquiring а facility tо purchasing food-grade equipment and paying employees – thеsе costs quісklу add uр tо аn often daunting amount. With thе temporary help оf а co-packer, mаnу small product manufacturers аrе able to avoid incurring huge packaging costs, keeping their operation small but scalable.

Finding & Selecting a Co-Packer

There аrе mаnу factors thаt must bе taken into consideration whеn іt соmеs tо finding аnd selecting а co-packer.

1. Assess what you need.

Are you looking for an end-to-end solution, a partner that can source your ingredients, pack your products, and warehouse and ship your products? Are you looking strictly for a manufacturer?

2. Evaluate the co-packers safety and quality record.

Analyze safety policies and procedures, research any past food quality or safety issues, check for certifications, etc. Also, conducting reference checks can be very helpful.

3. Analyze the level of transparency the co-packer will have with you.

What will communication with your team look like? Trusting your co-packer and understanding the process is important.

4. Consider the co-packer’s location.

Being physically close to your co-packer allows you to built trust, maintain more productive lines of communication, and stay on the same page with greater ease. However, it іs completely роssіblе tо partner wіth а co-packer nоt іn уоur immediate area аs long аs уоu hаvе excellent communication.


Choosing a co-packer саn bе a difficult аnd nerve-wracking process, but if you’re thorough and ask as many questions as necessary, the decision making process should go smoothly. Yоu’ll also find thаt co-packers саn bе а useful resource. They can help you answer pertinent questions regarding distributors, develop packaging, choosing product marketing methods, and more.

PACA Foods offers many co-packing capabilities, helping your business rise to the top. Contact us today for more information.

Burgers in Business

Juicy and delicious, burgers have been a timeless favorite for generations. Their popularity is growing exponentially and more kinds of burgers are constantly being introduced in the food industry. From family dinners, to convenient runs to the local burger joint, burgers have made a lasting mark among consumers. Because of this, they have become a go-to creation for virtually any business with a menu.

Burgers have attracted the most attention in the handheld food category, more than other types of seasoned meats and entrées. From tasty sliders to juicy quarter pounders, burgers have become a favorite among consumers for their diversity and convenience. Though primarily sold in “limited-service restaurants” (fast-food restaurants make up 57% of sandwich sales), other industry segments have caught on to their popularity and have gained momentum as vendors of the burger.

Other segments include full-service restaurants, and rapidly growing smaller categories, such as education, healthcare, and retail. For example, the travel and leisure segment expects a projected growth of 5.1% after it experienced a 4.7% growth between 2013 and 2016. In 2016, $90.57 billion were spent on burgers (that’s 44% of total sandwich sales), according to global market intelligence firm Technomic Inc. It is clear that the burger is here to stay, and the on-the-go nature of consumers only encourages its growth.

Explore the world of flavor

While usually centered on the typical meat, toppings and bun concept, all burgers are incredibly diverse, offering an open door to explore the world of flavor. An article by Food Business News states, “Fast-food establishments and full-service restaurants continue to add new burger options to their menus in an effort to keep up with consumer demand and changing tastes.” PACA Foods is able to contribute to tasty and satisfying burgers, by offering customized rubs, seasonings and marinades. We can help tailor your menu and products to create personalized flavors that are fulfilling and nutritious.

Established in 1991, PACA Foods is a dry-blended food-product manufacturer specializing in spices, nutrients, flour and sugar-based products. PACA Food’s high-quality products are custom-produced and private-labeled for retail, food service and industrial customers. Dedicated to understanding the unique characteristics of your company, PACA Food’s provides extraordinary quality of product and service to its customers. View our products or contact us today to see how we can help your company succeed in the ever-developing food industry.





What Is Dry Food Blending? The Process and Benefits

The dry food blending process is receiving significant attention as more companies become aware of the importance of proper nutrition. Dry food blending is the process in which dehydrated food products are mixed to maximize nutritional value, taste and to develop unique products. When a qualified company handles this process, the resulting products are tailored to meet the customer’s needs, while offering a healthy alternative to processed foods.

Dry Food Blending Offers Customization and Versatility

One of the most popular benefits of dry food blending, outside of health benefits, is there are limitless innovative ways dry foods can be blended. There are companies that will help develop unique dry blends for private labeling. This can shorten the product development process drastically.

Dry Food Blending  Spans the Spectrum

When most people think about dry food blending, their minds immediately settle on foods such as spices and powders. However, dry blending extends well beyond to the entire spectrum of natural foods. Here is a sampling of foods that can be dry blended:

  • Spices and seasonings
  • Drink Mixes
  • Bakery Mixes
  • Batter Mixes
  • Dehydrated fruit and vegetable mixes
  • Breading
  • Savory blends

The ability to custom blend these types of foods opens up numerous possibilities, creating diversity and flexibility in the foods currently offered, as well as new products.

Preservation through Dry Food Blending

In addition to the health value and taste benefits, another advantage is the ability to preserve food for an exceptionally long time. This is extremely important for businesses who have to keep inventory, and to the individual who keeps a stocked pantry.

The dry blend and packing process ensures that these foods will have a remarkably long shelf life. Consequently, companies are able to purchase these foods in larger quantities without fear of spoiling and wasting inventory.

The Specificity Seals the Deal

Working with an experienced dry food blending and packaging company allows the customer to create specific, and truly original products. One of the most effective methods of impacting the taste of food is through the seasoning process. A dry food blending expert can help a company to formulate a blend that will provide the desired taste. There is no limit to the variations in which spices and seasonings can be blended. When you consider the versatility that can be achieved, it is easy to see why the popularity of dry blending is growing.

The Packaging Process

Although packaging is often an afterthought, it is a vital part of the process. No matter how well the blending process goes, if the packaging is substandard, the success of the entire process is compromised. This is why customized packaging has become a major part of the dry blending experience. Customers can introduce their own plan for packaging, or they can work with a development expert to design a package that is specific to their needs.

Dry food blending preparation allows food quality to be managed with greater effectiveness. When a company is looking to develop a new product, dry food blending broadens the spectrum and simplifies the process. PACA Foods offers a high level of expertise in dry food blending capabilities, helping companies create innovative and successful new products. Contact us today to find out more!

GFSI: PACA Foods Commitment To Food Safety

The days of the successful “mom and pop” food manufacturing facilities have passed. Nearly 5 years ago, PACA Foods embarked on a mission to not only declare its commitment to Food Safety, but to also demonstrate that commitment by significantly investing in our personnel, our facility and our systems. This demonstration was completed under the auspices of the Global Food Safety Initiative and more specifically by following the standards established under the Safe Quality Food (SQF) path. PACA achieved a Level II certification in 2013 and achieved a perfect score on the highest and most challenging level (Level III) in 2016.

What is GFSI

Global Food Safety Initiative or GFSI is a non-profit group that provides guidance, leadership, standards and certification on food safety and management controls for the safe distribution of food throughout the world. The world’s top experts in food safety regularly gather & work with different global organizations, governments and industries in the food manufacturing and retail industries with the purpose of sharing new information and encouraging a unified system for managing food safety from the ground to your table.

Safe Quality Food (SQF)

The path (or “scheme”) that PACA has chosen for certification within GFSI is SQF. Heightened consumer demand for increased food safety assurances now finds retailers and service providers asking suppliers to provide verifiable proof that robust food safety control systems have been effectively implemented. These systems must have been properly validated, and show evidence of continuous monitoring procedures. This is where the value and importance of the Safe Quality Food (SQF) Program is evident:

  • SQF is recognized by retailers and foodservice providers around the world where a rigorous, credible food safety management system is required;
  • The SQF certification program will help reduce assessment inconsistencies and costs of multiple assessment standards;
  • As a primary scheme of the GFSI, the SQF Program links primary production certification to food manufacturing, distribution and agent/broker management certification;
  • Administered by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), SQF benefits from continual retailer feedback about consumer concerns. These benefits are passed on to SQF certified suppliers, keeping them a step ahead of their competitors;
  • SQF is the only scheme to integrate both quality and food safety components.

For manufacturers, SQF certification doesn’t stop at just assessing risk. The SQF standard is about limiting food safety incidents and recalls. It is also unique among certification programs in that it focuses on safety AND quality, giving retailers and food service providers around the world even more reason to seek out manufacturers, processors and distributors that have earned SQF certification.

Since SQF certification is based on government and industry food safety requirements, businesses at every level have the ready documentation they need to demonstrate the steps they’ve taken to increase food safety. In addition, the SQF program provides specialized guidance documents on standards within specific categories,

The Mission of The Safe Quality Food Institute: To deliver consistent, globally-recognized food safety and quality certification programs based on sound scientific principles, consistently applied across all industry sectors, and valued by all stakeholders.

PACA Foods is Level III SQF Certified

PACA recognized the significance of the GFSI in 2011 and embarked on the long and challenging journey to achieve certification. It takes a strong commitment from the company’s leaders, since there is a tremendous investment of time, as well as financial and human resources. A perfect score in Level III Certification was completed in 2016, and this milestone is a tremendous achievement for both our company and our customers.

Why Level III SQF is important to you as a Customer

A rapidly growing number of retailers are requiring their suppliers/vendors to achieve NOT LESS THAN Level II certification in order to be eligible to sell their products into the retailers’ supply chain. PACA meets, and exceeds this criteria thereby ensuring that our customers meet this certification eligibility requirement. It is one less essential element of doing business with retailers that you have to worry about. The certification further illustrates that PACA Foods produces not only a high quality food product, but also offers the assurance to our customers that they are in the hands of experts in the dry food manufacturing segment of the Food Industry.

PACA Foods is dedicated to being a leader in dry food manufacturing, and all of the company’s products are developed, produced and distributed according to the highest standards, both nationally and internationally.

Call us today to let us start creating value for your company and your customers.

Flipping A New Side to Flapjacks

In 2012, a company calling itself Flapjacked began through multiple experiments with high-protein, dry pancake and muffin mixes. The experiments were done by parents Jenn and Dave Bacon in order to find more creative ways to feed their autistic son, Jace. Since Jace would only eat about five or six different foods, Jenn tried to find a way to help his physical growth by adding protein to pancake mixes.

Since the inception of Flapjacked, Jenn and Dave have expanded into muffin mixes through their Mighty Muffin line of microwaveable products that come in a variety of flavors, all with 20 grams of protein. Flapjacked products are also sold in more than 10,000 retail outlets including conventional grocery stores, natural food stores, and vitamin and supplement shops.

Of course, one of the most difficult steps in the process of creating the pancake mix was discovering the best ingredients to use in order to create a product that tastes great, even after the baking process is finished. Tasty dry mixes require special attention to ingredients and, in the case of Flapjacked, more than 40+ proteins were experimented with in order to find the one that had both the best taste and texture for the muffin and pancake mixes.

The benefits of dry mixing are relatively evident: the mixes are shelf-stable longer, the processing and manufacturing is cheaper, and less nutritional content is lost due to further processing. The mixes can also be stored for later use in the event that an entire package or container is not used in one sitting. For families that are particularly active or have busy lifestyles, dry mixes can be a great help for everyone: once they’ve been made, they can very easily turn into a quick breakfast or snack for any on-the-go need. If you’re looking for a viable, dry-mix option, especially for items like health shakes or baking mixes with high-protein content, PACA Foods has a considerable amount of experience in working with all types of protein based products.. If you’re interested in seeing all of our available products and manufacturing capabilities, please follow this link for more information.

Source: Why Consumers are Flipping for Flapjacked, Food Business News

Tips for Toddlers: Baby Snacks Lacking Proper Nutrition

Taking care of toddlers is a task enough without trying to find out how to feed them properly.

Unfortunately, recent research reveals that a vast majority of products marketed to parents with babies and toddlers in the US such as cookies, cereal bars, and fruit snacks, were not nutritious choices for young children.

The study, done by The Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at the University of Connecticut, found that 83% of toddler snacks contained added sweeteners which the World Health Organization and other experts and organizations say children under the age of 2 years should not have.

Many of the claims on the packaging, such as “real, natural, organic”, misled parents to believe that the products with these claims would actually be a healthy option for their infants. In addition, other options such as fruit pouches, although a relatively healthy option for toddlers, failed to provide toddlers with proper exposure to real fruits and vegetables and the fine motor skills needed to consume produce. Such pouches also don’t provide the toddlers with the true flavor and texture of produce.

For parents with children under the age of one year, pureed food is still a viable option. By age two however, toddlers should be eating the same food as the rest of the family, the report added. For those who wish to read more about this report, see the sources below.


Avoiding Food Allergies Through Dry-Blending

Food allergy awareness has increased significantly over the past few-years. Allergy awareness has both expanded beyond nuts and milk and has become an interesting sub-market of the agriculture market, leading to creativity in cooking and community formation, especially for those with celiac disease who live gluten-free lives. Even with the improvements in awareness however, the scientific community is not where it should be in terms of funding for research on allergic reactions. The funding for this research is typically dedicated to finding cures for food allergies rather than than investigating the causes of the allergic reactions.
Gut bacteria is also of increasing interest amongst researchers as these gut bacteria play a role in explaining why some people develop food allergies. For example, the gut flora, which is the community of microorganisms that live in the digestive tracts of humans and other animals and insects, is analyzed to understand celiac disease. The gut flora of those with celiac disease is different from people without CD. The development of CD can come from genetic disposition, but CD is not guaranteed. Depending on when an individual is exposed to gluten within their diet can play a role in whether or not a person has CD.
And while awareness and research for allergic reactions are both increasing, some of us have very specific diet restrictions. Even goods that are carefully manufactured can cause an allergic reaction. Dry-blending foods is way to circumvent allergic reactions, however. When a food or product is dry-blended, an individual can decide how much or how little of an ingredient should go into their meal. Less processing also allows for a more raw form of any product, which allows for greater nutrient intake. They also can choose whether an ingredient should be included in their meal at all. For those with very specific diets, dry-blending is an excellent option both within the private and corporate sectors.
If an individual or company is looking for more simple options in their food-preparation for those of specific diets, dry-blended foods is certainly a viable option.