This post originally appeared on The Aptean Blog on September 18, 2018.
Today’s supermarket shelves look entirely different from even a few years ago. Modern consumers demand healthy options and that’s putting pressure on food manufacturers to deliver products that are organic, gluten-free, sugar-free, lactose-free, and plant-based.
Established food manufacturers are working overtime to respond to that demand and keep up with new food start-ups that specialize in healthy offerings. They are overhauling everything from product development to controls and traceability — trading in spreadsheets for ERPs — to meet the needs of health-conscious consumers. Here are three issues manufacturers have to overcome when shifting to healthier foods.
New Recipes Can Breed New Challenges for Food Manufacturers
Many food manufacturers are racing against the clock to reduce fat, sodium, and sugar to create non-GMO products without sacrificing taste. It’s an uphill battle, however, because most food manufacturers have recipe development resources and processes stuck in the past — i.e., product development and lifecycle management done via Excel spreadsheet. Adopting an ERP solution designed for food and beverage manufacturing can help efficiently create products to the specifications needed, whether its non-GMO, gluten-free, or low-sodium.
Consumers Need Reassurance Beyond What’s on the Label
Those that are trying to transform and create healthy options have no room for error, with trust in food manufacturers dropping 14 percent this year to just a third of respondents in this Center for Food Integrity report. The control and traceability of healthy products needs to be strengthened. Food manufacturers can’t just talk the talk to stand out on grocery aisles. They must walk the walk and be transparent about their manufacturing process, safety, and quality controls. Time and time again, manual, paper-based methods of track and trace fail. Food manufacturers need to invest in solutions that offer a clear line of sight throughout product development, including ingredient selection, output, and food safety.
Technology Can Make or Break Your Ability to Provide Healthy Products
The right ERP solution should allow for full integration with all your product lifecycle and supply chain systems, giving you a clear line of sight throughout all processes and allowing for easy adjustments. Further, the right ERP will help suggest what ingredients go together and track revisions and results so you don’t sacrifice taste for health and vice versa.
By correcting inefficient processes and supporting your operations with advanced ERP technology, you’ll be ready to capitalize on the next healthy eating trend.
Read more from Jack Payne on how manufacturers can shift to healthier offerings in this month’s Food Manufacturing.