Amy’s Kitchen is a family business founded in 1987. Today, they are the nation’s leading natural frozen food brand having created over 88 frozen meals including pizzas, picket sandwiches, pot pies, entrées, snacks, and whole meals. In 1999, they introduced a grocery line that now includes canned soups, beans and chili as well as jarred pasta sauces and salsas. Amy’s foods are currently carried by all natural food stores, supermarkets and some club stores in the United States, Canada and abroad.
Business Process and Project Objectives
This project dealt with analyzing sourcing for a privately owned organic food manufacturing company opening a new production facility on the east coast. The objective of the operations plan was to analyze the food miles traveled for all of the ingredients in one of Amy’s most popular products, the cheese enchilada, to provide Amy’s with a general idea of how much their carbon emissions would escalate as a result of moving their production facility across the country.
The project analyzed the carbon footprint of each input for the cheese enchilada and included sustainability recommendations with alternatives to reduce the carbon footprint. Recommendations accounted for potential cost savings as well as opportunities to provide jobs within the community.
Decision trees, breakeven analysis, process maps, and linear programming were used to evaluate and support the team’s recommendations from an operational viewpoint.
Recommendations to decrease the carbon footprint included sourcing locally, using rail transport rather than trucking, maximizing product mixes for shipping, and internally processing ingredients when possible.