The food production industry has made great strides in supporting the growing demand for balanced diets in the UK. With the average shopping basket including less and less calories, sugars and salt, the public are starting to take their health seriously. From a production point of view, producers must start to get much more closely involved in public health issues, to support the need for a healthier population.

For example, in 2019 one of our customers Mademoiselle Desserts removed around 32 tons of sugar from their range and have been focusing on using less salt, sugar and fat whilst preserving flavours and textures.

Being mindful that consumers are looking for more nutritional products on the supermarket shelves, food producers are continuously looking to develop innovative approaches to products and product development. However, it’s not all about the innovative ideas. Supporting the innovation within your business with the right ERP solution, can help you manage that process far more effectively.

Recipe Development

From healthy snacks and ready-to-go meals, driven by busy lifestyles, the demands from the consumer are ever-changing. Food and beverage manufacturers must improve operational efficiencies and update their processes to be able to respond quickly to market trends. Competition when it comes to ‘health brands’ can be fierce and being able to better compete with new entrants to the market who specialise in these trends can be tough.

Responding to market changes like these quickly and effectively can be made easier with the right ERP solution. ERP platforms can support you in formulating new products and recipes to meet evolving customer requirements and trends. Not only that but you can gain greater control with recipe management, making new product development a far smoother process.

Transparency

Beyond the label matters. A greater demand for healthier food products, has been coupled with desire for more knowledge about the food that people are consuming. People want to know how a product has been produced and where products have come from. People want to purchase honest, responsible products, that are not only better for the environment, but their health and are demanding greater insight into items before they’ll consider a purchase. To be able to provide your customers with full traceability of their food items, requires a total end-to-end solution.

Data Insights and Competition

When utilising the right ERP solution you can start to take advantage of the data you have available. You can begin to understand your customers in better detail, with accurate, real-time information. This all plays a part in helping you meet customer demand effectively, with the products that your consumers desire.

With such a shift in the way people are choosing to eat, the growth within the healthy foods market continues. To face this challenge head on and deal with competitor activity in the marketplace, a modern ERP solution is vital to supporting success. From dealing with movements in the prices of commodity goods, through to managing government rules and regulations, embracing technology and digital transformation in such a demanding environment is required to remain competitive.

Ever-changing customer requirements

With a centralised database within your ERP solution you can see your efficiency vastly improve. In the food industry, simple access to data makes it easier to monitor and track perishable stock throughout the supply chain – giving true field to fork traceability. Coupled with demand forecasting capabilities within the ERP solution, it becomes far easier to predict demand and safeguard against waste and surplus stock.

Our diets connect personal and public health with global environmental sustainability. On people’s quests to develop a healthy diet and lifestyle, often eating sustainably comes hand in hand. Our customer, Jones Food Company, provides a further example of how specialists in the food and beverage industry are responding to changing consumer demands. Operating in the herb sector, they specialise in vertical farming, meaning they can grow produce all year round in the UK, giving continuity of supply, shorter growing time-frame and a reduced carbon footprint without reliance on imports. This ability to grow healthy, fresh produce all year round, gives people continued, affordable access to produce regardless of season.

Today market changes and fluctuations are happening in all areas of the food industry and are driven by a variety of health factors. Our customers are constantly monitoring these demands, including one of our customers, who specialise in herbs and salads. For them, staying aware of the most popular ingredients and general food trends can help them present to market in the most effective way possible. For example, in 2021 the herb market saw a growth of around 23%, driven by an increase in home cooking. Coupled with an increase in the interest of the nutritional and medicinal benefits of natural products, has resulted in a real demand for traditional herbs. Recognising and responding to these kinds of trends proactively is increasingly important to maintain a competitive edge.

Partnering for success

It’s clear to see that diet and health trends are considerably impacting the way in which the food and beverage industry operates. It’s also increasingly clear that technological advancements and support are key to helping businesses differentiate themselves and remain competitive in such demanding environments. Here at Cedar Bay we’ve got years of experience supporting food and beverage companies with their ERP implementations, to ensure that they are in the perfect position to keep up with the demands of the future.