There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ when it comes to food…not anymore.
Industrialization and globalization have greatly contributed to consumer food trends and preferences. Growing consumer demand for transparency in food products continues to have a significant impact on food supply chains. Moreover, consumer purchase factors have grown to prioritize convenience, clean, taste, trendy, sport, novelty, healthy, fresh, safe and environmental sustainability.
Evolving individualized food preferences have not only presented a challenge to food manufacturers in the production arena, but have also introduced increased market pressures in the areas of new product development, labelling and international product distribution. Product data management can be the right solution for meeting these changing consumer demands in an easier and more cost-effective way.
Consumer lifestyle choices usher in demands for individualized food preferences
Consumers are focused on healthy lifestyles, environmental sustainability and making the best food choices. This is a direct result of recent health challenges – like obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. For the past several years, anti-inflammatory diseases have reportedly been skyrocketing in nearly all segments of the global population.
According to a recent Nielsen survey, 70 percent of global respondents said they make the majority of their dietary decisions based on personal health concerns, such as warding off obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Moreover, allergies and food intolerances such as lactose and gluten are on the rise. Weight loss and weight management, digestive and brain health are key drivers in customer food preferences.
As proactive consumers educate themselves and become more aware of the correlation between food and health, they are deliberately moving away from processed food in favor of fresh, clean label products, healthy, functional and nutritious foods. This is added to the fact that busy lifestyles place a higher demand on hyper-convenient and clean-label food products.
Moreover, veganism is becoming a cultural movement which is driving innovation and sales in plant-based foods.
Consumers are not making purchasing decisions based solely on taste, health and convenience – they are using their choices to define what they find valuable, and as a means of self-expression. Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram are chock-full of images and posts attesting to consumers’ desire for healthy, quality foods that are at the same time environmentally sourced and produced. Hence, individualized food requirements are growing rapidly.
Delivering taste, convenience, clean food – and more
Evolving food safety, health consciousness and ecofriendly production are the major demand drivers with the biggest impact on food supply chains. Savvy food manufacturers understand that this means a seismic shift in consumer eating habits – reflective of a new way of life rather than just a mere trend – and this shift is driving mass food production toward mass-customized food production.
To meet consumer demands, food and beverage manufacturers must use product data management to develop and implement product and production values, including better nutrition, environmental sustainability, health, wellness, innovation, and mass transparency in labeling practices.
Innovation and new product ideation
Recalibrating product and process values in the development and reformulation of food and beverage recipes both present a huge challenge which is extremely vital for the success of food manufacturers. These activities consume time, energy, labor and funds that could otherwise be devoted to innovation and new product ideation.
Other considerations such as food safety, quality, taste, convenience and affordable prices are of equal importance to consumers and must also be addressed. Analogously, food regulation and global compliance must be integral to product development and be included in all product advertising.
Therefore, correctly identifying shifts in consumer demands, as well as efficient, effective time-to-market development strategies of new food products will be critical for the success and profitability of all food and beverage manufacturing in the very near future.
The recipe to success
For transparency, traceability, and data availability – the major components of a successful food manufacturing organization, the SpecPDM Product data management tool provides the foundation for crucial competitive advantages. This unique tool is designed to simplify new product development, product reformulation, global requirements for regulatory compliance and food safety.
Long-term sustainable growth for the food and beverage manufacturing industry demands innovation. SpecPDM is an innovative centralized digital product data management system that provides manufacturers and retailers access to this essential product information, which in turn benefits both companies and consumers.
SpecPDM delivers efficiency and eliminates errors in product data management which can affect the generation of ingredients, recipes, as well as workflows in packaging and labelling. SpecPDM also assists in new food product development in reformulation processes, which in turn provides essential leverage – the kind of leverage that drives net profit for your food manufacturing enterprise.