Strategic Consulting

Strategic Consulting Expands to Meet Needs of Industrial Diagnostics Market

Strategic Consulting, Inc., has added Robert J. Ferguson as Managing Director as it continues to expand to meet the growing demand for market intelligence and business strategy in the industrial diagnostics market.

Strategic Consulting, Inc. (SCI), the leading knowledge resource for business strategy and market intelligence in the industrial diagnostics industry, announced in advance of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) Annual Meeting that Robert J. Ferguson has joined the company as Managing Director. Founded in 1996 by President, Tom Weschler, Strategic Consulting focuses on microbiology-based, quality and safety testing in the food, beverage, pharmaceutical, and personal care product industries, and in environmental and industrial process water.

“In our 20-year history, we’ve seen tremendous growth and change in the industrial diagnostics industry, particularly in the food safety sector,” Mr. Weschler said. “With Bob Ferguson’s expertise in all aspects of the market, plus extensive experience in business management, strategy development and international business, SCI will be expanding its services and offering our clients an even deeper skill set and knowledge base.”

Market research is vital to the development of the industrial market, and continues to be in demand. In 2017, we anticipate delivery of new editions of our report on Microbiology Testing in the Global Food Industry as well as the Food Contract Lab Report.

With more than 30 years in industrial and environmental diagnostics and laboratory businesses, Mr. Ferguson has expertise in accelerating growth, international business development, business turnarounds, M&A, and new product development in businesses ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations. Prior to joining SCI, Mr. Ferguson was Worldwide Vice President and General Manager for Becton Dickinson’s (BD) Industrial Microbiology and Clinical Media Business Unit; a $350M global business serving the clinical and industrial diagnostic markets in food safety, pharmaceutical, personal care and medical devices, with customers in more than 100 countries around the world.

Ferguson, Managing Director, Strategic Consulting, SCI

Robert J. Ferguson, Managing Director

“Having worked with Tom and Strategic Consulting for many years, I am well aware of SCI’s reputation as the leading market knowledge and strategy resource for industrial diagnostics, “Ferguson said. “I’m pleased to be joining SCI, and I look forward to contributing to and building on its outstanding work.”

In its 20-year history, SCI has built a reputation as the “go to” source in the industrial diagnostics space, in part through its 19 well-researched market reports, which are widely accepted by leading diagnostic manufacturers and investors as highly credible analyses of the industry. “SCI market reports having been developed through literally thousands of interviews with production companies worldwide in the food, pharmaceuticals and personal care industries,” Mr. Weschler said.

“Market research is vital to the development of the industrial market, and continues to be in demand,” Ferguson said. “In 2017, we anticipate delivery of new editions of our report on Microbiology Testing in the Global Food Industry as well as the Food Contract Lab Report.”

IMMR—4 is currently available online at www.strategic-consult.com, and a new edition of “Global Review of Microbiology Testing in the Industrial Market”(IMMR-5) will follow Food Micro—9 and FCLR—2, Mr. Ferguson said. SCI also will be expanding its capabilities to provide market research projects specific to individual client requirements.

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Strategic Consulting, Inc. (SCI) provides market reports and business consulting on microbiology-based quality and safety testing for food, beverages, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, environmental water and industrial-process water. With more than 100 combined years of international management in the food safety testing and industrial diagnostics marketplaces, SCI’s principals have proven success in working with venture capital backed start-ups, publicly traded companies, technology acquisitions, and transformation of underachieving companies. For more information on Strategic Consulting and its current market reports, visit www.strategic-consult.com or call +1 443 244 5245.

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Pathogen Diagnostic Platforms and the Jam Study

The explosion in the number of food safety pathogen diagnostic systems is confusing the customer and hindering change.

What a great IAFP (International Association for Food Protection) Annual Meeting last week in Indianapolis! It was bigger and better than ever.

A couple of things made a huge impression on me:

There were more than 25 pathogen diagnostic platforms on the exhibit floor.

While not an official accounting, someone who was counting as they walked the floor told me they quit at 30. This represents a dramatic increase from even five to ten years ago. Maybe all of these companies are reading SCI’s market reports extolling the size and growth of the pathogen testing market.

pathogen diagnostic, food safety testing

Too many choices and too much risk are hindering change.

On the IAFP exhibit floor, I had a conversation with a long time contact who is director of quality at a national food company. We talked about the proliferation of pathogen diagnostic choices and how it is inhibiting rather than fostering change. He sees no significant benefit in switching from his current platform, which not only works well but is well established in his plants. Changing to save $.50 or trim a few hours of production time is not worth it to him.

He was frank in admitting that he is afraid of the risks involved in change, and overwhelmed by the choices. In essence, he said: Who knows, in six months something newer and better might come along and I will have wasted time, effort and money in switching. Plus my boss will be upset with the money spent on the instrument.

Has the pathogen testing market become like the 24-flavor jam table?

There is a classic study on choice known as the jam study. In 2000, Sheena Iyengar and Mark Lepper published “When Choice is Demotivating: Can One Desire Too Much of a Good Thing?” which examined the consequences of having limited versus extensive choices. The research involved a field experiment in an upscale grocery store in which customers encountered either a table with a limited choice of six Wilkin & Sons jams or a table with an extensive choice of 24 jams from the same company. Everyone who approached the display table was invited to taste as many jams as they liked, and was given a $1 off coupon to purchase a Wilkin & Sons jam.

The key finding was that the 24-flavor table attracted more attention yet it resulted in fewer buyers: Just 3% of people who stopped at the 24-flavor table went on to buy jam, while 30% of shoppers who visited the 6-flavor table left the store with jam in hand. And while it seems logical that people who had more options would sample more flavors, that was not the case. People able to sample from 24 jams tasted an average of 1.50, while those who could chose from six sampled an average of 1.38 jams.

Has the pathogen testing market become like the 24-flavor jam table? Are there just too many choices without significant differentiation, and is that causing hesitation to change?

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Food Contract Labs Are Taking a Big Bite Out of Food Safety Testing

In the past 5 years, food contract labs (FCLs) have shown a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) that exceeds overall growth in the food safety testing market. Clearly, FCLs are taking market share from food plant labs (FPLs).

As covered in last week’s blog, the 40,000 food plants worldwide are finding the running of in-plant food labs to be increasingly complex. Faced with FSMA and the possible requirement of lab accreditation, particularly for analysis of food safety compliance samples, more and more food companies are questioning the role and scope of their food plant labs (FPLs)—and considering alternatives.

One alternative is to utilize a food contract lab (FCL) for all compliance samples while continuing to analyze other food safety samples at the FPL. Another is to shut down the food plant lab entirely and utilize FCLs for all food safety test analysis. Yet a third is to have a food contract lab locate a ‘lab-in-a-box’ just outside the food plant or to have the FCL take over the food plant lab operations.

Salmonella, food safety testing, food contract lab

Strategic Consulting, Inc. (SCI) has been monitoring food safety testing for 15+ years, and has documented this shift in business from FPLs to outside labs. Based on data from SCI’s thousands of interviews with food plant QA/QC managers, there is a clear trend in food plants to send samples outside for analysis. The following chart is based on SCI interviews with U.S. food plants regarding where Salmonella samples are analyzed. In 2013, 61% of U.S. food plants sent Salmonella samples outside for analysis. Just twelve years ago, in 2001, the reverse was true, and 63% of the U.S. food plants did the analysis at food plant labs.

At one point all food plants had laboratories. In the 1970s, a few entrepreneurs began what has now grown into a thriving food contract lab industry. Many of the early entrepreneurs established outside laboratories with their own expertise as the foundation. Acting as subject matter experts and consultants, these scientist-entrepreneurs provided knowledge that helped their food industry clients solve food safety issues. Many of the early food contract labs were microbiology-based, due to industry needs and the lower cost of entry for micro versus other types of testing. These early FCLs grew through personalized service, expert consulting, scientific proficiency and strong client relationships. Over time, FCLs added basic chemistry services as necessary to support the needs of food company clients.

food contract lab, food safety testing

According to Strategic Consulting’s newest market research report, Food Contract Lab Report, there are 2,350 FCLs worldwide and they generated revenues of more than $3.0 billion in 2013. In fact, over the past five years, the food contract lab industry has shown a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) that exceeds overall growth in the food safety testing market. Clearly, FCLs are taking market share from the food plant labs.


Food Contract Lab Market

The FCL growth rate varies slightly by geographic region and business area (microbiology, chemistry, services) but frankly, all areas are growing well.

FCL Geographic Region Analysis

  • Europe is the largest region based on total FCL revenues, but is showing slower growth than other geographic regions. Chemistry revenues remain strong in the EU.
  • North America is second in total revenues, but is catching the EU, driven by large increases in microbiology revenues.
  • Asia and the rest of the world (ROW) have the smallest total revenues but the greatest growth potential of the four geographic regions.

FCL Business Area Analysis

  • The microbiology business area is second in total revenues but growing quickly, with increases in both routine micro and pathogen analysis.
  • Chemistry is the largest business area but slowing in growth compared to the other business areas.
  • Currently the smallest, the Services business area is growing quite quickly due to increasing demand from food companies.

The future for food contract laboratories looks strong, and five years out, SCI expects FCLs to have continued their growth in market share. FSMA will push companies outside the U.S. (OUS) to utilize accredited labs for compliance testing, which will drive rapid growth for FCLs particularly in the markets in Asia and Latin America.

Next: The evolving nature of the food contract lab business.

 

 

 

 

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Many “Niches” in the Global Food Microbiology Testing Market

Due out this month, Food Micro, Eighth Edition: Microbiology Testing in the Global Food Industry (Food Micro-8) explores differences in testing by region, food segment, organisms and company structures.

Microbiology testing by food companies around the world is on the rise. Increases are occurring in all geographic regions and across all food segments. The total volume of food microbiology testing worldwide is approaching 1 billion tests annually—an increase of about 125% since 1998.
Routine and Pathogen Food Microbiology Tests Worldwide

Numerous factors are driving the increase in food microbiology testing: read more…

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Food Safety—Is It As Bad As Reported?

Marked by major food recalls, stalled regulations, a continued decline in public confidence and ever-present media coverage, 2012 won’t be remembered as a banner year for food safety.

But, what is the truth about the safety of our food? Is it as bad as reported? read more…

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Food Safety Testing Market in Europe to Top $1 Billion in Five Years

According to Food Micro—6, a new market research report from Strategic Consulting, Inc., food safety microbiology testing in the EU will reach close to 350 million tests in 2016, at which point the market should top $1 billion in value.

Woodstock, VT February 9, 2012 — Europe is a substantial market for food microbiology testing. With a population of over 500 million, the 27 countries of the European Union (EU) conducted an estimated 275 million food safety microbiology tests in 2011, according to Food Micro, Sixth Edition: Food Microbiology Testing in Europe (Food Micro—6), a new market report from Strategic Consulting, Inc. In comparison, there were 213 million such tests conducted in the US in 2010.

EU Food Safety Test Volume 2005 - 2011

EU Food Safety Test Volume 2005 - 2011

Food Micro—6 is the first definitive report to focus exclusively on the European food microbiology testing market, and reviews the methods, technologies, companies, regulations and trends shaping food safety testing in Europe.

According to Tom Weschler, president of Strategic Consulting and lead author of Food Micro-6, “Food safety microbiology testing in the EU will approach 350 million total tests in 2016, at which point the market should top $1 billion in value.” Given these numbers and other factors, the European food safety testing market must be examined and understood, Weschler says. “A resurgence in public awareness in the wake of the 2011 E. coli outbreak in Germany, and the continued focus of the European Food Safety Authority on EU-wide systems, could drive test volumes even higher.”

A resurgence in public awareness in the wake of the 2011 E. coli outbreak in Germany, and the continued focus of the European Food Safety Authority on EU-wide systems, could drive test volumes even higher.

In preparing this new and comprehensive review of the European food microbiology testing market, Strategic Consulting (SCI) conducted more than 175 detailed interviews in 11 European countries accounting for 77% of all agricultural/food value-added in the European Union. Because of this primary research with food-processing plants throughout Europe, Food Micro—6 is able to offer new, detailed data on European food safety testing such as test volumes, methods used for routine and pathogen testing, and costs per test performed. Differences in testing practices are analyzed for the meat, dairy, fruits/vegetables, and processed food segments. Variations within countries are outlined, and expected changes in future testing practices are discussed.

“Routine” microbiology tests used in the food processing industry in Europe to indicate the presence of microorganisms in the plant or food product include total bacteria, E. coli, Staphylococcus, yeast and molds. In 2011, these routine tests numbered 225.4 million. The balance of food microbiology tests in Europe were 49.9 million “pathogen” tests, which look for specific microbes such as Salmonella, Listeria, L. mono, Campylobacter, and E. coli O157.

Food Micro—6 also profiles the leading diagnostic companies competing in the food safety testing market including a discussion of new technologies and market strategies. Food Micro—6 includes company profiles for Becton-Dickinson, BioControl, bioMérieux, Bio-Rad, BIOTECON, DuPont Qualicon, Foss A/S, Idaho Technology, Life Technologies (ABI), Merck Millipore, 3M, Neogen, Pall Corporation, QIAGEN, Roka Bioscience, R-Biopharm, SDIX and Thermo Fisher.

Food Micro—6 is a companion report to Food Micro, Fifth Edition: Microbiology Testing in the U.S. Food Industry (Food Micro—5), published by SCI in 2011, which reviews the current practices and changes impacting food safety testing at 9,350 U.S. food processing plants.

Strategic Consulting has published six reports to date reviewing quality and safety testing in the food industry. The food sector represents almost 50% of the total industrial microbiology testing market, and is more than double the size of any other industrial segment including pharmaceutical, personal care products, beverage, environmental, and industrial processes. SCI market research reports are widely accepted by leading diagnostic manufacturers and investors as highly credible analyses of the industry.

For more information about Food Micro, Sixth Edition: Food Microbiology Testing in Europe, call Strategic Consulting’s U.S. office at 802-457-9933.

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Strategic Consulting, Inc. (SCI) provides market reports and business consulting for industrial diagnostics companies delivering microbiology-based products for quality and safety testing in food, beverages, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, environmental water, and industrial-process water. With more than 75 combined years of international management in the industrial marketplace, SCI’s principals have proven success in working with venture capital backed start-ups, publicly traded companies, technology acquisitions, and transformation of underachieving companies. For more information on Strategic Consulting, Inc. and its current market reports, visit www.strategic-consult.com or call 802-457-9933. Follow SCI president and industry expert, Tom Weschler, on LinkedIn or Twitter @tomweschler.

 

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New Report on Food Safety Microbiology Testing in Europe Published

Strategic Consulting is pleased to announce the publication of our 15th market research report, Food Micro, Sixth Edition: Food Microbiology Testing in Europe (Food Micro—6).

Food Micro—6 is the first definitive report to focus exclusively on the European food microbiology testing market, and reviews the methods, technologies, companies, regulations and trends shaping food safety testing in Europe.

In preparing this new report, Strategic Consulting (SCI) conducted more than 175 detailed interviews in 11 European countries accounting for 77% of all agricultural/food value-added in the European Union. Because of this primary research with European food-processing plants, Food Micro—6 is able to offer new, detailed data on European food safety testing including:

  • Test volumes
  • Market value
  • Methods used for routine and pathogen testing
  • Costs per test performed
  • Testing practices by segment for meat, dairy, fruits/vegetables, and processed food
  • Variations by country
  • Expected changes in future testing practices

Strategic Consulting has published six reports to date reviewing quality and safety testing in the food industry. The food sector represents almost 50% of the total industrial microbiology testing market, and is more than double the size of any other industrial segment including pharmaceutical, personal care products, beverage, environmental, and industrial processes.

For more information about Food Micro, Sixth Edition: Food Microbiology Testing in Europe, download a prospectus, email info@strategic-consult.com, or call Strategic Consulting’s U.S. office at 802-457-9933.

 

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Full of Thanks

It’s been some time since I’ve been able to post to this blog, in part because we’ve been so busy here at Strategic Consulting. The activity in the industrial diagnostics market, and the new technologies entering the food safety space in particular, are at a level that I’ve rarely seen in my 30+ years in the business.

It’s exciting, and I feel lucky, to be working in a field that continues to innovate and improve the quality and safety of our food, water and other products important to our health and well-being.

read more…

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