We first discussed this topic with Melanie Bartelme, Global Food Analyst at Mintel, on our CPG Innovation Podcast earlier this year.
Over the past two years, everything changed.
As a result, we’re still experiencing major disruptions in the food and beverage industry.
Retailers and manufacturers in the food sector are rapidly rethinking their strategy.
While companies consider different ways to deliver outstanding food experiences to in-home diners, having an agile process for innovation, one supported by modern technologies, enables new products to reach the market at warp speed, even during uncertain times.
It’s difficult to be this flexible, especially when other factors, like labor shortages and an uncertain supply chain compound the difficulties of a shifting marketplace dynamic. Access to a good product lifecycle management platform can facilitate nimble delivery of new food and beverage experiences to consumers.
A window of opportunity for meal-kit concepts
In the face of changing marketplace dynamics, nimble marketing efforts and product campaigns fostered buy-in from customers who might not have otherwise considered alternative culinary experiences.
Meal kit businesses, for instance, skyrocketed during the pandemic.
The idea of pre-packaged meal kits and smaller-investment, bite-sized experiences became incredibly popular as diners looked for new meals without leaving their home. Existing meal kit providers saw significant enrollment surges while restaurants sought ways to package their own menus as a the CPG trend took root.
Where some traditional players were hit hard by changes in consumer activity, new spending behaviors resulting in CPG companies seeing a big uptick between 2020 and 2019.
The x-factor? The shift from brick and mortar to in-home reshaped the industry, and companies who were able to quickly adapt and re-align reaped the greatest rewards.
Pathways to innovation
When supported by technology, companies can be agile in new product development.
Devex PLM shortens R&D time, giving teams access to powerful formulation tools that digitally model how different combinations of product attributes impact final product composition, cost, and compliance prior to physical trial testing.
With this information, companies can quickly reach the right decision, especially in the face of new consumer behaviors and disruptions to product lifecycle.
Recipes can be fine-tuned and revised based on the availability of raw materials, while supplier data can be directly integrated into a final formula for better management.
By capturing formula modifications, approvals, and activations in one place, R&D, quality control, procurement, and regulatory teams can rely on a single source of truth for making rapid decisions. Efficiencies introduced by a modern PLM like Devex enable companies to streamline new product development, allowing manufacturers to rapidly innovate in the face of a shifting market.
Change is good
As consumer behavior continues to shift, companies will have more opportunities to introduce new products to a now curious market.
It’s also a chance to become more efficient.
In adopting new technology and processes, manufacturers can shift with consumer demands, codifying ways to safety-proof and make agile their strategies for future changes.
Devex PLM empowers companies to adapt quickly, improving their speed to market in even the most unique circumstances. Whether the trend be meal kits or some other CPG innovation, technology enables manufacturers to develop strategies suited for a new normal.