Shoppers are thinking about things differently, especially food.
Now more than ever, consumers are investing time into researching what they’re buying, where it comes from, and who made it. This might seem like a new burden to some food manufacturers, but to others, it’s an opportunity to introduce new products into the market that consumers truly want.
The world wants options and knowledge
In our recent CPG Innovation Podcast episode, we sat down with Annalea Krebs, Founder & CEO of Social Nature, a product discovery and trial platform in the better-for-you space. More than one million shoppers across North America use Social Nature to make the switch to better products to achieve their health and lifestyle goals. Demand for product transparency ranks high on the list of motivating factors driving Social Nature shoppers to provide direct feedback to brands to influence and encourage sustainable innovation.
According to the Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce, also known as AustChamThailand, the future of food, including these alternative proteins, is being shaped by transparency.
“From protein drinks to electrolyte replenishers and other types of products experiencing high demand, today’s markets represent a moving target that must be consistently hit by companies operating in the F&B sector. Success in these realms requires transparency as a core business priority. Whether consumers prioritize locally produced goods, plant-based food alternatives, natural ingredients, or any other feature that corresponds to their value system, manufacturers must be able to demonstrate the extent to which their products meet expectations.”
On the surface, a shift like this creates a major disruption for businesses with established product lines and practices. Innovating and making changes to recipes or ingredient profiles can be complex and time consuming, as can accurately tracking and reporting a product’s makeup.
The fact is, relatively few companies have centralized ownership of these processes. This means multiple teams working in silos to manually formulate, check changes and updates across individual product lines, and verify ingredient claims by hand.
Such obstacles are preventing some companies from being part of new, global trends that are shaping the future of food.
Investing in the future of food
A formula-based product lifecycle management tool such as Devex PLM gives manufacturers agility and the ability to confidently adhere to transparency trends while creating new products.
Devex enables a SSOT model, assuring collaboration and compliance. Checkpoints and search functions mean manufacturers can quickly validate claims while developers concoct new recipes.
According to a Forrester Total Economic Impact study commissioned by Selerant, food and beverage manufacturing executives have long wanted a single, searchable source for product specifications, formulations, materials, and other information across all of their products, functions, and regions.
Having a centralized system in place makes workflows and accountability easier and more transparent, which enables companies to confidently speed new products to the market.
Succeeding in a changing, hyper-competitive environment
The tools and capabilities embodied in Devex empower manufacturers to grant more visibility to their suppliers, partners, and most importantly, customers. Transparency—coupled with the kinds of information consumers crave—can boost trust for a brand, elevating the entire company. This is essential for staying current with new product trends, including plant-based food alternatives.