Changing regulations mean persistent labeling challenges for global food manufacturers

| Product Lifecycle Management | Food & Beverage
Posted By: Selerant


Global food and beverage manufacturers have their hands full trying to keep pace with shifting consumer sentiments and a constantly evolving regulatory landscape.

A report in Packaging Strategies summarizes the situation well: “As food and beverage manufacturers navigate a consumer audience that has changed its attitudes and behaviors completely, they must also address changing the Nutrition Facts on their labels … Changes like those required under current regulations can have wide-reaching implications for some brands.”

This delicate balance can lead to disruptions in production as companies try to sift through emerging regulatory and consumer trends. Having the right technology in place could be the best timesaver in a company’s inventory.

How regulatory changes impact production

Consider an example concerning genetically modified foods (GMOs), as outlined in a January 2022 Food Manufacturing article:

“Food manufacturers have historically opposed [GMO] labeling. They argue that it misleads consumers into thinking that bioengineered foods are unsafe. Countless studies, the USDA and the World Health Organization have concluded that eating genetically modified foods does not pose health risks. However, many consumers have demanded labels that let them know whether foods contain genetically modified material.”

While some labeling changes may be straightforward and relatively simple to implement, others can be extremely nuanced. Market discrepancies can lead to significant delays in manufacturing and production as companies struggle to track label requirements across product lines.

Keeping pace with regulatory change and evolving consumer sentiment across multiple markets – The right technology is key

The right tools make it possible to stay abreast of regulation and ahead of the competition while addressing customer needs. 

Selerant’s Devex PLM platform can surface differences and discrepancies when it comes to claims and regulations. “Sustainably sourced”, for example, can mean different things in different countries; Devex offers verification for every claim, in every region where a product is sold.

According to a 2022 Forrester® Total Economic Impact study commissioned by Selerant, “Devex PLM enabled interviewees’ companies to ensure and demonstrate compliance more easily by making regulatory and labeling requirements and reporting deadlines readily visible in workflows across the enterprises. It also accelerated their responses if regulations changed and left audit trails on product approvals and any subsequent product changes.”

Devex ensures that labels accurately represent formulas, and automatically cross-checks claims against all relevant regulations. The platform stays current with evolving laws, making it easier for regulatory affairs and other stakeholders to ensure compliance.

Devex PLM eliminates silos and makes everything easier

A key reason for Devex PLM’s formidable capabilities is that it provides a single source of truth (SSOT) for companies.

In an SSOT environment, data is aggregated from many systems to a single location. Such a model offers visibility across the product lifecycle and makes traceability along with transparent, structured gatekeeping easier across the board.