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While the reasons for this increase in consumption in distilled spirits are many — from stress relief to adventuresome home bartenders trying their hand at making classic cocktails — this increase in sales means that distillers will need more barrels to age their products prior to sale.

And as federal regulations prohibit the re-use of barrels for Kentucky bourbon and other iconic whiskies, distillers must purchase new barrels every year. Hence, the need for more barrel staves. January 22, - With growing concerns about community spread where infection rates are particularly high coupled with the rise of COVID variants that are more easily spread, more people are asking if even weekly grocery shopping trips are too risky.

As a result, even holdouts are putting options back on the table to make customers comfortable and limit in-store traffic. The company has launched a pilot program offering curbside pickup at three stores in New Mexico. Orders can be placed through Instacart and Costco employees will handle fulfillment. Most stores have had success with curbside delivery or click-and-collect shopping, even if they have struggled at times with logistics and having enough capacity to meet consumer demand.

This market of potential customers is substantial. January 22, - The coronavirus pandemic continues to change the way we get our food. More consumers want easy contactless grocery shopping. Many also desire customizable on-demand fresh offerings featuring high-quality ingredients, but with a contactless payment and pickup experience.

The next generation of food business plans are using smart refrigerated equipment to not only meet consumers where they are but to also fulfill their demands for a seamless, convenient, and contactless transaction:.

Expect to see continued development as grocers and foodservice vendors seek to make click-and-collect more efficient, to reduce worker time and make the experience more frictionless. Commercial refrigeration and vending machine companies will continue to innovate to fit that market need. January 22, - The onset of the global COVID pandemic spawned a wave of research and brought many issues to the forefront.

Findings in the health sphere are among the most important, and will continue to fuel technological innovation for many years to come. The research being done today is fundamentally transforming our understanding of both viruses and their spread, and will leave us better prepared for future pandemics. In the January issue of Science Advances , for instance, researchers from Brown and University of Massachusetts in the US published an article examining the spread of respiratory diseases in passenger cars.

The goal of the research is to advance our understanding of how airflows in passenger cars impact virus spread, and reduce transmission risk. These findings have significant implications for many different aspects of passenger car design as well as related fields of research. For manufacturers of cars, insights about airflows and the spread of viruses can lead to innovations in cabin design.

In addition to reducing transmission risk, such modifications can also be used to improve air quality and increase comfort. Suppliers of filters for automotive applications will also benefit from a better understanding of cabin airflows, helping them to develop the next generation of filtration products. Such innovation is likely to also impact other consumer air filtration technologies. January 21, - Grocery pickup and home delivery has been available for years.

But was the year these services went beyond early adopter demographics — such as frazzled parents and aspiring ladder climbers too busy to muck about the supermarket — and reached the mass market, as shoppers sought to minimize potential exposure to COVID As much as customers appreciate pickup and delivery alternatives, they are a trade-off. And even if your order contains nonperishables like canned soup and breakfast cereal, both pickup and delivery tend to be time-specific well, maybe not exactly specific, but there are windows, and usually you need to be home for grocery deliveries from local stores.

With freezer, cooler, and ambient temperature compartments, the box allows for groceries to be delivered at any time while remaining secure and at the proper storage temperature.

The HomeValet box and service allow for more convenient deliveries and could expand the list of items shoppers will purchase without entering the store. And while you may want to make that trip to choose the beef tenderloin worthy of an anniversary celebration, it could be just right for bags of frozen vegetables, packages of bacon, and loaves of the only kind of bread your kids will eat.

This development is also part of companies such as Walmart beginning to map out their way in a post-pandemic world. Someday, most members of a household will be back at school and working away from home, but they will still want to maintain new shopping habits and take advantage of the convenience offered by online grocery shopping and home delivery. This market of potential customers is substantial too.

January 21, - The release of the December retail sales report showed that sales by building materials and garden equipment and supplies dealers rose modestly in the month. While this was a bright spot compared to retail sales as a whole, many expected that the segment — which had been a pillar of strength throughout the year — would have shown stronger gains.

That said, retail sales at building materials and garden equipment and supplies dealers did rise in December, bolstered by:. Home improvement activity has remained strong. Going forward, many believe that the momentum of will carry over to and that building materials retailers will continue to post strong sales numbers. Freedonia Group will continue to monitor retail sales in this market segment — and others — to gauge how the economy will fare in the upcoming year.

January 21, - After a year of uncertainty brought about by the COVID pandemic, Trex — the largest decking supply is the US — is ready to capitalize on rising demand for decks in the coming year. While COVID has wreaked havoc on a wide variety of US industries, the lifestyle changes brought about by widespread working at home and consumers spending increased leisure time at home have provided opportunities for major decking suppliers. Many homeowners have undertaken renovation projects in order to make time spent at home more enjoyable.

This includes investment in outdoor spaces in light of growing interest in outdoor living, the desire to have a safe place to entertain guests, and the foregoing of traditional vacations.

Key elements of these investments included outdoor dining areas, pools, and other projects that often involve the construction, expansion, or improvement of decks. Another side-effect of the pandemic is that many homeowners have found themselves with an abundance of free time.

This has spurred interest in a variety of DIY projects. Trex positioned itself to benefit from quarantine-related decking interest and DIY trends by marketing its decks as simple for homeowners to install themselves, and thus distinguishing its composite decks from those using competing materials or from other manufacturers.

This should not be surprising, given that:. This uptick in kitchen remodeling activity boosted demand for a wide range of construction products, key among them:. Going forward, The Freedonia Group analysts predict that will also be a strong year for kitchen remodeling activity. Even as the COVID pandemic recedes in the US, homeowners will still want to remodel their kitchens — rare is the homeowner who complains of too much storage space or too-recent appliances — and as economic conditions improve, more people will be able to make such an investment in their homes.

January 14, - One of the biggest impacts of the pandemic in was the increased amount of time people spent in their yards. Not only was there was a huge jump in the number of people exploring home gardening, but they also spruced up their yards by investing in new decks and outdoor living areas. This focus on outdoor living is expected to rise even higher in In light of many companies amending their work policies to allow more frequent work from home even beyond the pandemic, consumers expect to maintain their outdoor leisure and home nesting activities at elevated levels for the near term at least.

As a result, lawn and garden product suppliers are looking to position themselves to make the most of the opportunity. January 14, - The global auto industry, like most manufacturing sectors, was hit hard in the early months of the pandemic in , with plants closing and sales plummeting. However, sales picked up faster than expected, and as approached, the promise of new vaccines and global economic improvement provided hope that industry growth would accelerate.

However, auto producers worldwide are now having to slow or stop production again due to a shortage of computer chips , which could have a ripple effect throughout the automotive supply chain.

Motor vehicles are increasingly driven by electronics, but auto production is just one outlet for semiconductor chip producers, whose businesses are increasingly driven by consumer electronics and the dispersion of smart technology. As auto production dropped dramatically in early , chip suppliers switched their focus to producing chips used in gaming systems, smart phones, laptops, and other products high in demand by consumers forced to stay at home.

When auto producers ramped up output again, chipmakers began to have trouble meeting demand, creating a challenge that is expected to continue well into Will a shortage of chips halt the global auto industry recovery? According to Thomas Bowne, Chief Economist at The Freedonia Group, the impact on total annual output expected for will likely be negligible. But as global motor vehicle demand bounces back in and production increases accordingly, chip manufacturers, seeing a good opportunity for higher profits, will likely switch course to meet that rising demand in the motor vehicle segment.

Healthy motor vehicle production is essential to the outlook for growth in many other industries worldwide, including those that produce components such as batteries and filters, as well as coatings, adhesives and even items like professional power tools used on manufacturing lines. Automotive applications account for a large share of demand for many of these products. For example, the industry accounts for over a third of all demand globally for both batteries and filters.

Freedonia Focus has also recently published Electronic Components: United States and an update of the Semiconductors: United States report is coming soon. Freedonia Custom Research is available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.

Consumers leery of entering stores have embraced online shopping, purchasing everything from groceries to exercise equipment from the safety and comfort of their homes. However, this increase in shipping activity has highlighted a new problem: a lack of sufficient warehouse space to store of all these goods awaiting delivery. This shortage of warehouse space — and the accompanying rise in rents for these spaces — has spurred construction of new facilities to meet the need for additional storage and distribution centers.

Given that many consumers will continue to use online purchasing for a portion of their shopping needs even after the COVID pandemic ends, demand for warehouse space will continue to grow.

Other industries can also expect to see sales gains as warehouse construction continues to climb, key among them:. This trend was already in progress, but the pandemic brought some things along faster and brought other issues to the fore:.

January 7, - When the COVID first struck in early , there was an extreme and near immediate negative impact on the global manufacturing sector. Uncertainty on how best to navigate this new reality, and on how long the world would be in the grasp of the pandemic, resulted in the temporary closure of nonessential businesses and a slowdown in general business investment. By April , the PMI — a measure of economic trends in the manufacturing and service industries — reached its lowest point in a decade.

However, the world started to get back on its feet a few months later and steady gains in manufacturing activity through the second half of the year culminated in a December measurement that, in many countries, was the highest mark in years. Through most of , the global manufacturing sector has shown that it was able to withstand many of the disruptions caused by the pandemic, though it was not a smooth journey:.

One of the bigger issues early on in the pandemic was the disruption of supply chains as countries enacted different measures to combat the spread of the virus at different times. While there remain sporadic supply chain issues, the US has generally reported that there is stability among inventory levels and that supply chains are satisfying at least short-term demand requirements in many industries. However, this improvement could still be upset by a resurgence in coronavirus cases if the rollout of the COVID vaccine falters, upsetting normal supply chains and the ability of manufacturing facilities to operate at full capacity.

In the second half of , however, many of these challenges to manufacturing could be resolved if much of the world has the chance to be vaccinated and restrictions to movement and operations are lifted.

January 6, - Whether by choice or force of circumstance, the coronavirus pandemic has led many customers to make changes to how they acquire both grocery items and prepared foods. Although both delivery and curb-side pickup are seeing increased consumer acceptance and use, curb-side is being used by more people.

However, delivery companies are responding by offering subscription plans monthly or annual that make using the service more affordable for frequent users.

Additional benefits of curb-side pickup include greater control over timing. As more people return to work outside the home and children return to onsite schooling, households that previously tried delivery may find it more difficult to arrange a time to accept delivered grocery when someone is at home. It is often easier to arrange for a curb-side pickup option rather than delivery, given that more slots are often available.

This concern of coordinating deliveries with someone at home to accept them is less of an issue with prepared meals, as delivery tends to be available well into the evening. The convenience of curb-side and delivery options means that these services will continue to be available well beyond the pandemic. Expect to bring about more innovations and improvements in how food gets to consumers, particularly as the pandemic lifts and lifestyles change again.

January 6, - Demand for food delivery — both prepared restaurant meals and supplies from a grocery store — skyrocketed in due to the coronavirus pandemic. Most restaurants and grocery stores found that contracting with third-party delivery services such as Instacart, Shipt, DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats was the easiest way to get online ordering and produce delivery quickly.

These services allowed outlets to get online fast without having to invest in an ordering platform or to hire and train shopping and delivery personnel. However, as consumers found online ordering and food delivery or pickup to be convenient and something they will likely continue to do even after the pandemic ends, more companies are beginning to reconsider how they approach this side of the business.

As the online food trend has legs beyond the immediate emergency period, companies are thinking that:. We expect to be a year of continued change in food delivery as efforts initially thought to be emergency responses become permanent operations and processes continue to be refined.

The incorporation of electronic coupons, special pricing, and digital advertising, as well as and improvements in fulfillment technology and processes and in structural operations will help propel the category. January 6, - While the US construction industry has weathered the pandemic better than many others and signs point to continued strength in residential construction in , future advances may be hampered by a skilled labor shortage that has been exacerbated by the pandemic.

A sharp uptick in opioid deaths is hitting the construction industry particularly hard and at a most inopportune time. The often times repetitive and physically taxing nature of construction work lends itself to injury and chronic pain, factors that make construction workers more susceptible to opioid overuse. High levels of isolation and limited treatment options during pandemic-induced facility closures have made the situation worse.

While the industry has been dealing with the challenges of opioid addition for a while now, with all sides working to create programs to help address the issue, the impact may be felt for some time to come. For most people, this was shifting from dining out to cooking at home or at least eating at home with carryout meals. However, others found that they shifted what they ate as well.

With many people still concerned about the health effects of the COVID virus for themselves or their families, many people sought to eat better to improve their personal health. Combining these pandemic effects with the growing availability of vegan and otherwise plant-forward food options in stores and restaurants, the promoters of Veganuary — a pledge to eat meat-free for the month of January — expect record participation.

In fact, there is already a growing community of vegetarian, vegan, and flexitarian consumers. Additionally, there is a growing number of people eating more plant-forward diets. With the proliferation of meat and dairy analogues — including versions with a taste and texture to please even a devoted meat eater — it is increasingly easy for more consumers to sample plant-forward eating and incorporate more of it into their routine meals.

Maybe they discover new toothbrushes in stockings from Santa, maybe they find new pajamas gift wrapped under the tree, or maybe socks and underwear are traditional Hanukkah gifts one night. This year, for many, hand sanitizer, new masks, and containers of disinfecting wipes made appearances in stockings and gift exchanges. Happy holidays from the MarketResearch.

December 28, - Among the many changes that have taken hold in the US since the COVID pandemic, that of working from home appears to have achieved a level of staying power. For employers, the realization that workers can be just as productive from their homes — while also minimizing the potential spread of coronavirus in a crowded office — has been crucial. Similarly, many employees value the many conveniences of working from home — no more commutes, flexible schedules, and an everyday casual dress code.

For the building construction industry, this increase in demand for radiant floor heating will support demand for a wide range of building materials, such as:. PalletOne manufactures wooden crates and industrial packaging products, and also pressure-treats wood lumber, helping to mitigate degradation caused by exposure to the elements. UFPI also makes industrial lumber products, so the purchase of PalletOne will boost its capacities in that market segments. Traditionally, only a few products such as pharmaceuticals were shipped on new pallets, with reclaimed pallets — pallets which have been used multiple times — accounting for the vast majority of trips.

Those involved across the supply chain — such as manufacturers, shippers and warehousers, and retailers — have identified used pallets as a potential source of COVID infection. While the risk of transmission is low, used pallets are frequently handled as products are unloaded from and loaded onto them.

In contrast, new pallets — such as those made by PalletOne — see much less use and thus are seen as a safer alternative to reclaimed pallets. Even as the COVID pandemic recedes and more people are vaccinated, it is expected that as with so many other things people will be reluctant to go back to the old ways of handling products, and will continue to specify new pallets when shipping items as food and consumer goods.

December 28, - Peloton — a key supplier of stationary bicycles and other home exercise equipment — announced on Tuesday that it planned to purchase Precor, a leading manufacturer of commercial exercise equipment. However, a closer look shows the role the COVID pandemic has played in bringing these companies together.

Demand for Peloton -branded stationary bikes and treadmills surged during the pandemic as people sought to maintain their physical fitness by exercising more at home, due to their reluctance to go to a gym, or because gyms were closed due to local or state mandates. However, Peloton had trouble meeting this increased demand, as shipping delays meant that its Taiwan-manufactured products took days and weeks to reach customers.

The purchase of Precor will help alleviate these shipping issues, as the company has plants and warehouses in the US, thus allowing Peloton to head off future supply issues by expanding its domestic manufacturing print a move made by many other firms during the COVID pandemic. The acquisition also positions Peloton for future growth.

While many people will continue to exercise more extensively at home, others will return to their gyms with a vengeance — particularly as vaccines reduce the risk of the disease. Peloton will then see sales gains as gyms re-stock their facilities with the exercise equipment supplied by Precor. December 17, - The financial pain that the COVID pandemic has inflicted across much of the economy is even impacting businesses that have fared well over the past several months.

As companies look to raise cash to deal with lower sales and maturing debt obligations, it is the portions of their business that have done the best during the pandemic that are worth the most. This has caused companies such as Bridgestone to consider parting with their construction-related business, Firestone Building Products , despite the ability of the roofing industry to weather the downturn better than most sectors of the economy.

This also presents an opportunity for consolidation within the roofing industry, with other roofing companies such as Carlisle and Standard Industries considered as possible acquirers. December 11, - A few highlights of news and analysis in the personal protective equipment industry:.

The CEO — perhaps adhering to the adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity — credited Rep. Ocasio-Cortez with its strong sales in However, Goya Foods, and other suppliers of packaged food products at grocery stores, benefited from a number of other factors, such as:.

While many major hospitals already have ultracold freezers, most other medical facilities lack such machines, which will hamper vaccination distribution campaigns in many parts of the world. In response, governments and businesses have placed orders for ultracold freezers, making them a highly sought after item.

Ford , for instance, has acquired ultracold freezers to vaccinate its employees. As vaccinations accelerate globally and Pfizer distributes its vaccine, the need for these machines will grow exponentially and make it hard for suppliers to keep up with demand. Recent developments have created immense opportunities for manufacturers such as US-based Thermo Fischer Scientific, which has seen demand for its ultracold freezers surge so much so that it had to make adjustments to its supply chain.

In the near term, the global COVID vaccination campaign will continue to have a profound impact on demand for ultracold models specifically and freezers more broadly. Vaccines similar to the one being developed by Moderna must also be kept frozen, albeit at temperatures that are not quite as cold.

The different storage requirements of these vaccines are likely to force states and vaccine coordinators to be creative in their distribution strategies.

For instance, Smithfield Foods — a leading pork producer — has offered to make excess space in its freezers available to store vaccine doses and the need for dry ice is increasing as states such as Ohio use it in its distribution plans. Densely populated areas or locations near some existing stock of ultracold storage freezers will more easily be able to use the Pfizer vaccine.

Areas with smaller populations or limited or no access to ultracold storage are more likely to prefer the Moderna vaccine, as that will ease some of the delivery burden. This assumes that both vaccines will receive emergency approval, a decision on which the US is still waiting. December 3, - Holiday shopping is in full force and concerns about exposure to COVID are driving more people than ever to do their shopping online.

However, all that merchandise needs to be packaged before it is sent to customers, and that means more shipping boxes as well as other protective packaging. And boxes increasingly are in tight supply. Unlike toilet paper, a product also produced by Georgia-Pacific, there are not shortages of boxes in the US yet. The positive side benefit of this is that interest in paper recycling has rebounded both with consumers and manufacturers, as adequate recycled corrugated supplies are critical to producing more boxes.

Not only does this minimize the spread of disease, but being outdoors has granted people the opportunity to have the gatherings of family and friends — birthdays, graduations, and other social events — that would have otherwise missed even if in a limited and socially distanced capacity. Two recent announcements of plant expansions indicate that Americans will continue to embrace outdoor living for One — an announcement by MoistureShield Composite Decking of an expansion of its Springdale, Arkansas, production facility — shows the continuing strength of the decking market.

Freedonia experts have previously discussed the growing demand for decks in the US, which have been installed to provide space for social gatherings, outdoor dining, and play areas for children. Decks add living space to a home and simultaneously allow people to more safely gather in small groups.

The second announcement — by plastic furniture manufacturer Poly-Wood — reported that the company will construct a new and larger production center at its Indiana headquarters, boosting its capacity to make Adirondack chairs and other outdoor furnishings.

As people add decks to their homes, they will also need chairs, tables, and other items to make them fully functional living spaces.

Furthermore, homeowners with front porches and patios — or those who simply want to sit in the front yard — will also buy plastic chairs to provide all-weather seating that will not rot or require frequent care, as well commercial spaces hoping to expand outdoor seating for guests. December 2, - Recently, the New Yorker published an article talking about how even the most enthusiastic cooks are finding meal preparation becoming a joyless pursuit these days.

Cooking has become less something they choose to do and more something they have to do…Three. However, processed and prepared foods are up not just because people are tired of cooking, although many are. There are opportunities in addressing these customers as well as joyless chefs.

December 2, - In a normal year, appliance companies are able to capably estimate how many of their appliances will be sold. This allows them to manufacture and maintain an appropriate inventory sufficient to supply retailers, distributors, and end users.

This approach to supplying appliances, however, had a rather large wrench thrown into it in appliance usage was up more home cooking, more frequent opening of refrigerators and supply was cramped by manufacturing shutdowns and shipping challenges related to the pandemic. Unsurprisingly, existing inventories were quickly emptied to satisfy the first wave of orders. Since then, appliance manufacturers have been playing catchup, as temporary disruptions to typical manufacturing operations created order backlogs stretching as long as months.

Delays are not just isolated to the US either. Australia , for example, is also experiencing a shortage of appliances, which is made worse by the fact that most of the appliances sold in the country are imported.

GE Appliances was already planning an overhaul of its supply-chain in and expedited that effort after the start of the pandemic. Its investment has resulted in notable improvements in being able to track stock levels at distribution centers, shipment information from manufacturing sites, and to more quickly solve supply disruptions.

At a time when nearly all appliance orders require some wait, minimizing disruptions is essential. December 2, - The COVID pandemic has hit the commercial real estate market hard, with stores closing as businesses retrench or outright go out of business and companies with suddenly large remote workforces looking to minimize their costs for space they are not using.

This, in turn, has hampered commercial construction spending as companies look for further signs of economic stabilization, and a lack of new tenants keeps landlords from remodeling.

However, some companies are using the current downturn to either find new space under better conditions or to buy property outright. While this represents a painful reality for the commercial real estate market since most of these are at sharp discounts and historic low prices, it offers some hope for the commercial construction industry as companies revamp their new locations to suit their needs.

The greatest opportunities are in grocery, home improvement, discount shopping, and pet supplies — all areas where retail traffic has been sustained or increased during the pandemic period. Repurposing is another possibility as restaurants are being reworked as ghost kitchens for carryout and delivery orders and some retail space is being converted to dark stores, eschewing in-store sales for curbside pickup and delivery from e-commerce orders. November 25, - Single-use foodservice packaging has become the target of increased environmental scrutiny in the US, Europe, and many Asian countries.

However, much of that scrutiny and the initiatives resulting from it — such as reduced usage of disposable coffee cups and bans on expanded polystyrene EPS containers and certain plastic bags — have been put on ice by COVID The pandemic reversed these recent developments by causing renewed demand for single-use cups and other disposable tableware as restaurants shifted away from in-house dining to increased pickup and delivery business.

While the pandemic has created something of a respite for many affected products, one food producer has gone in a somewhat different direction. No-touch dispensers are reassuring to customers concerned with surfaces touched by other people think of bathroom soap or paper towel dispensers.

November 25, - An area of potential cooperation between Republicans and Democrats is that of funding infrastructure construction , as members of both parties recognize that the US has a significant backlog of projects that will soon need work. In addition to the prospect of the thousands of jobs needed to fix and repair roads and bridges, water and sewer lines, and other public works, there is also the potential for creating jobs for the many people employed in the production and delivery of these materials.

Rising spending on infrastructure construction will spur demand for such materials as:. These green projects can include the installation of:. A number of factors contributed to these banner reports, key among them:. Looking to the fourth quarter, it is expected that both companies will report continuing strong growth in sales. These gains can be attributed to a number of sources, key among them:. Retailers must be wary of:. Even with the prospect of a slowdown — or even a decline — in sales in November, building materials retailers are poised for an outstanding year of sales growth, despites the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

November 25, - The October advance monthly retail sales report was released on November For instance, sales of sporting and recreation goods might be lower than one would expect because the data only count sales at stores that primarily sell these products and do not include items in this category that are sold at mass merchants like Walmart and Target, whose sales are classified elsewhere. The October report shows some growth over September sales, but declines in the same period in more categories.

The growth that happened was muted and generally below expectations. Sales were hampered by rising COVID cases in much of the country as well as economic uncertainty as hoped-for government stimulus and financial support programs did not come to fruition. The big winners overall for the year continue to be the same ones from last few months.

However, even as they continue to show strength against same-month sales, they are increasingly off pandemic highs:. Additionally, their product mix includes categories that continue to benefit from the shift toward staying home — e.

Many consumers are still largely limiting their shopping to these types of retail outlets. Sales at sporting goods, hobby, musical instrument, and book stores — which saw rapid gains in June — experienced declines from that spike during July and August before improving in September and falling again in October.

While back-to-school shopping and fall sports spending supported sales in September, October sales were more likely to be early holiday shopping. October sales were up There remains some hope on the horizon for the retail sector as sharply curtailed sales on services limited travel, dining out, away from home entertainment, personal care services leave most households with more money to spend on goods at retail, particularly as the holiday season approaches.

Still, spikes in COVID cases will hurt any retail that is not done via e-commerce as consumers again stay away from public places and as some areas limit or close dine-in options again. Food- and beverage-related reports are also available from our sister publisher, Packaged Facts. November 18, - Foundation Building Materials FBM — a leading distributor of wallboard, suspended ceiling systems, metal framing, and other specialty building materials — announced today that it is being acquired by American Securities, a private equity firm.

The transaction, which is expected to complete in the first quarter of , will make FBM a privately traded company. Demand for all many construction products has remained high through the second half of , which surging lumber prices and lumber shortages only among the most exemplary. Wallboard too is integral to many DIY building projects — such as creating a home office or a home gym — and home builders and other construction professionals need substantial amounts of wallboard, ceilings, and other construction materials to complete homes.

Furthermore, demand for building materials — especially those sold by FBM — is expected to continue to rise going forward, spurred by:. Indeed, it is not difficult to see increases in FBM sales going forward. For instance, as commercial structures are gutted and refurbished — for example, to turn an office building into an apartment complex — demand for such materials as drywall and ceilings will post solid growth. A lack of existing inventory reduced opportunities for the purchase of existing housing, while supply issues and high lumber prices both of which have been caused by the COVID pandemic affected new home production.

Together, these factors have sent new home prices souring, forcing buyers to improvise. One option has traditionally been to rent — either an apartment, or if possible, a single-family home. However, not only is there a shortage of homes to buy, there is also a shortage of homes to rent, and those that are available are seeing rent increases.

People fleeing expensive urban cores — in part to escape more densely populated areas where risk of COVID transmission is higher — have caused the firms that own an increasing number of these rental properties to boost rent, as demand often outstrips supply.

This lack of affordable houses to rent if not purchase will cause many people to remain in apartments for longer periods of time. Another option is to put an accessory dwelling unit, or ADU, on or near an existing dwelling.

While frequently selected by people seeking nearby residences for aging parents, an ADU — where permitted by local building codes — is an ideal residence type for seniors, adult children who move back home, and for family members between careers or suffering pandemic-related economic reverses.

ADUs are less expensive than single-family homes and can be seen as an investment for the future — a homeowner, as they age, may decide to move into the ADU and rent or sell their existing home, for instance.

Freedonia Group experts will continue to monitor the housing market and study its effects on not only the construction market, but the US economy as a whole. However, in keeping with the tone that is , the good news did not last long.

The vaccine requires super-cold refrigeration equipment, as it must be kept at negative 70 degrees Celsius or negative 94 degrees Fahrenheit. This level of chill is not found in many hospitals and is currently a logistical nightmare for the drug maker, hospitals, and state and local governments that need to coordinate administering the vaccine.

Pfizer has developed a storage container that uses dry ice to keep the vaccine at the necessary temperature for up to 10 days, and these containers can be refilled to extend the overall storage time. In addition, the vaccine can be stored at conventional refrigerator temperatures for 5 days. This vaccine, which was also highly effective This is a level that other vaccines need for storage, so it requires less new infrastructure.

Still, both versions will be needed for the roll-out ultimately so that as many vaccine doses can be made available as quickly as possible. These challenges also create opportunities, especially for manufacturers of super-cold storage equipment such as K2 Scientific , Panasonic, and Thermo Fisher Scientific. November 17, - The silicones industry has gotten used to upheaval, and the Covid pandemic is just the latest. But recent years have been a challenge. In , plant shutdowns in China coupled with strong demand led to price spikes and supply shortages, resulting in companies scrambling to fill orders.

The very next year, however, the supply and demand balance shifted, and prices fell back to earth. So when the Covid pandemic hit in , the silicones industry had to be flexible and proactive yet again.

The recession brought on by the pandemic devastated some key markets for silicones, such as motor vehicles and personal care products. But some companies were able to shift gears to take advantage of new opportunities in personal protective equipment and medical devices such as ventilators, where silicone materials are widely used.

The second half of brought some relief to the silicones market, thanks to improving economic conditions. However, this may be in jeopardy as the rapid rise in new Covid cases in the US and Europe is likely to bring economic growth to a halt. The silicones industry might have even more new challenges to face in the coming months. Freedonia also offers an expanding catalog of COVID Economic Impact reports , which highlight how various industries are responding to the current crisis with a comparison to recent recessions, including one for Global Silicones and one for US Liquid Silicone Rubber.

Many companies that the lease office space are continuing to keep workers operating remotely from their homes. While many businesses are still hoping to bring staff back in stages through , some workers may never go back to a conventional office.

The long-term leases that these companies have signed will protect the real estate companies from an immediate loss of tenants to a certain degree. However, many of these firms with long-term leases are offering their unused space to others, resulting in a sharp jump in efforts to sub-lease this unused office space to new tenants. The flood of newly available office space for lease or sub-lease will put a damper on new office space construction, as excess capacity keeps a lid on rents and makes it difficult to justify new construction for investors.

However, commercial remodeling activity may get a boost as sub-leased space is reconfigured for new tenants. Additionally, even companies that are still retaining and planning to use their space are undergoing renovations to accommodate social distancing norms with more walls, improved ventilation and filtration, and additional entrances to minimize crowds of Sheds Cabins Near Me Uk workers.

As a result, packaging machinery has outperformed most other durable goods industries in Following disruptions that occurred during shutdowns as the beginning of the pandemic, North American companies adjusted their supply chains. A considerable number of them have re-shored manufacturing operations. As many existing factories were upgraded and some new facilities opened, suppliers increased spending on new packaging solutions to accommodate the increase in output.

Concerns about the spread of COVID also pushed producers to offer new packaging configurations, some to accommodate new hygiene preferences such as single-serving types not meant for sharing, which can often require new equipment.

With the COVID pandemic expected to continue to impact the North American economy in , many of these trends will continue to drive packaging equipment spending in the region and the outlook for the industry is projected to remain strong.

November 12, - Freedonia experts have frequently posted here about lumber prices and their effects on the building construction market. Today, however, it is time to look at this issue from another side — namely, that of the companies that sell lumber to construction professionals and DIYers. A number of these firms are publicly traded, and they reported strong growth in sales and profits due to both the higher demand for lumber and the higher prices that the material has been commanding:.

The question these firms and others will face going forward is whether these record profits can be maintained. While new home building activity remains strong and there is still a high level of interest among homeowners in home improvement projects, other factors may point to a less rosy outlook:. Going forward, Freedonia experts will continue to monitor lumber prices — and the companies that make and sell lumber and building materials — as part of our extensive coverage of the US construction industry.

November 12, - The American Bus Association ABA , which represents US motor coach operators, private school bus operators, and other industry participants, began to raise concerns about the viability of the US motor coach industry as early as May The Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services bill is based on the airline bailout, and a similar bill was introduced in the House of Representatives.

It estimates that , employees in the industry have been furloughed in Turmoil in the industry will also have a major impact on domestic bus manufacturers, causing them to lay off workers, adjust supply chains, and delay investments. The drop in tourism activity, restrictions on the movement of people, and closures of schools and businesses have had a profound impact on the use of private motor coach and school bus services.

Money from the bailout package could be used to buy new buses, fix existing models, and service debts. Currently, there is significant bipartisan debate among US lawmakers, and passage seems more likely with the re-election.

Both motor coach and school bus operators are essential for the transportation systems of many US cities, and this will put pressure on the government to offer an aid package. November 12, - While many areas of the economy are suffering due to restrictions caused by the ongoing COVID pandemic, the home improvement industry has registered robust sales.

Consumers are stuck at home, with more time and often extra money from vacations not taken, foregone spending on other entertainment, or from government stimulus programs. As a result, people are taking time to tackle long-desired home improvement projects. Sales of a variety of products and services, including decking, fencing, patios, exterior painting, basement waterproofing, gardening products, tree care, and landscaping have seen healthy growth for much of This has driven sales of lumber and other building materials, paints and coatings, tools, and lawn and garden products.

He attributes growth both to gains in market share compared to wood, which is being hurt by high lumber prices, and to higher sales from white collar workers who are key customers for Trex products.

However, concerns remain about how long this home improvement boom will last, with the COVID crisis now expected to extend into and a lack of new stimulus money any time soon. November 5, - Meat processing is an industry that has long considered automation inferior to human activity. Automation was seen as inexact and left too much waste, among other issues.

However, there has been more of a push to improve machinery through the use of technologies — such as artificial intelligence, sensors, and cameras — that are both increasingly better performing and less expensive.

The need to implement automation has been spurred by the challenges of worker protection particularly the need to space workers out amid high infection rates and the need to continue operating when outbreaks occur. This is something to watch for in other industries as well. Investments in automation are often seen as a hedge to hiring challenges when not enough of the right kind of workers available , but it can also be a way to make the cost of production in a country or region with high labor rates more competitive with other areas.

As more manufacturers are considering diversifying their supply chains after learning lessons from disruptions during the pandemic, automation may be an increasingly popular strategy. However, customers — particularly those who are sensitive to fragrances — still want to test the smell of a product before buying it.

At the same time, suppliers of personal care products, cleaning products, and food items are trying to reduce shrinkage and waste that stems from a person opening a product and then deciding not to buy it.

These same suppliers are also sensitive to consumer calls for packaging that protects the integrity of the product and can show if the product has been tampered with prior to purchase. Tekni-Plex introduced a new packaging seal with Sniff Seal technology that allows the scent of the product to come through without the need to open it, which compromises Sheds Near Me Cheap Key the seal and integrity of the product. According to the company, the scent coming through will be strong enough to smell even through a mask.

November 5, - Restaurants are closing from a loss of foot traffic — workers have moved to home offices and shoppers have spent less time browsing — and operations costs from pandemic-era changes that were too much to cover. Closures effect not only foodservice workers, but also the commercial real estate in many areas, as there are not yet new restaurants to move into vacated spaces.

Are ghost kitchens the solution? Customers still want the diversity of options available in a vibrant restaurant climate, but many are not yet willing or able to dine in. As delivery fills the gap, more restaurants that are still in operation are making their kitchens available to those who are doing delivery only. The Freedonia Group National Online Consumer Survey from August indicated that there are significant opportunities for growth in this area:.

Burger King has announced the development of reusable packaging for menu items such as sandwiches and beverages. After use, the containers, which are being tested in New York, Portland, and Tokyo, can be returned to the Burger King restaurant, where they are sanitized and reused.

However, the development of products that combine improved environmental profiles with good performance continues to be a challenge for industry participants. This is particularly important given the sustainability pledges by foodservice operators and changes in state and local regulations. As companies such as Loop expand their reusable packaging programs , more such packaging options will appear in foodservice outlets, pandemic or not. November 3, - Discount grocery retailer Lidl has announced that it has installed hospital-grade air filtration systems in all its stores.

Lidl claims to be the first grocery retailer to have installed such high level air filtration systems across its network of stores. However, indoor air quality will continue to be an issue in this coming season and beyond as customers look for reassurance that it is safe to spend time in brick-and-mortar outlets. Indoor air quality improvements are one step that outlets can take to provide an additional level of safety and reassurance to customers.

November 3, - The roofing industry has always necessitated people had to work in close proximity for prolonged periods of time, which has become less than ideal during the pandemic.

Roofing contractors across the US have worked to implement social distancing at job sites as elsewhere — such as by having workers space out at a construction site and by insisting that employees travel separately.

However, some companies are looking to use technology to eliminate visits to the job site altogether — the ultimate in social distancing. We also believe that a well paid writer will sacrifice everything to provide quality. Your paper will always be completely plagiarism free. We will never resell your papers to anyone and you will buy an essay that has never been presented in another university. We value your education and will commit ourselves to ensure that you score an A every time.

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