How Is Customer Demand Reshaping the Food and Beverage Industry?

Kale isn’t anything new – it’s not the invention of some mad scientists in a lab. So, why in 2012 did its popularity skyrocket? A campaign by a PR professional (who also really likes kale) catapulted the cruciferous vegetable into the spotlight, where it’s stayed ever since.

That’s just one example of a food that has captured consumers’ imagination. Consumers are always after healthier food, and increasingly, they want to know where it came from. This desire puts pressure on the food and beverage industry to introduce new ingredients and provide greater traceability of those elements. Read on to learn how technology can enable food and beverage producers to meet those challenges in a cost-effective manner.

The Origins of the Food Transparency Trend

The rise of the food transparency trend has its roots in the global democratization of information (which in and of itself has led to greater transparency). It’s now easier than ever for consumers to find out the conditions of a slaughterhouse or about unsafe food handling practices at the greenhouse that provides their fruits and vegetables.

Then, there are the countless stories of E. coli, listeria, and salmonella outbreaks due to unhygienic practices at food and beverage manufacturing firms. Consumers don’t want to be victims, nor do they want their families to possibly ingest dangerous food or drinks.

How Can Food and Beverage Manufacturers Stay on Top of the Food Transparency Trend?

Food and beverage manufacturers must be responsive to consumer needs if they want to stay in business. As it is, the food and beverage industry is quite competitive and margins are quite thin. If consumers demand labels that show where the food or beverage was manufactured, what ingredients are in it, and where those ingredients came from, manufacturers will have to figure out a way to give them what they want.

Fortunately, there’s a way to do that, and it doesn’t involve an enormous investment or a complete overhaul of your processes or supply chain. An ERP system provides the much-needed transparency consumers crave (with the added bonus of meeting government regulations).

How does an ERP system help food and beverage manufacturers ride the wave of the food transparency trend? For a start, manufacturers can track raw materials through every step of the production process. In the unfortunate event of a recall, the firm can quickly identify what’s causing the problem and pull the product from the shelves before it sickens anyone. Second, the manufacturer can create an accurate list of ingredients for the product thanks to the information from the ERP system, including the date and location of manufacture.

Consumers are influenced by many factors, a major one being their health and wellbeing. They want the food and beverages they purchase to support their health goals. For them, knowing what goes into their food and drink enables them to make the right choices. ERP systems help food and beverage manufacturers satisfy consumers and stay competitive in a tough market.

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