For thousands of years, spices and herbs have flavored our food. It wasn’t until the industrial revolution, when food was being produced further from urban centers, that the flavors industry began in the United States. Today, the U.S. flavors market is expected to reach $4.87 billion by 2025, according to a report by Grand View Research Inc.
The Millennial-driven trend of fewer meals and more snacking has increased the consumption of processed and ready-to-eat food, fostering the growth of flavor-enhancing additives to offset tasteless processed ingredients.
The report also emphasized that increased consumer awareness of the health risks associated with synthetic chemicals in artificial food ingredients could increase demand for organic and natural flavors. Jan. 1, 2020, marked the date for most food manufacturers to switch to labels that specify exactly what’s in a product and how much of each ingredient is naturally occurring, and how much is added from non-naturally occurring sources.
These macro trends make it more critical than ever for flavor manufactures to track and document precisely what’s going into their products. At the 2019 TraceGains annual user conference, industry veteran Penny Marsh, regulatory manager at Sensient Flavors, led a flavor industry standardization discussion, which drew a mix of flavor manufacturers and their suppliers, along with consumer-packaged-goods companies.
The roundtable focused on driving improvements to TraceGains Standard Online Forms that benefit the business. TraceGains bases the forms on best practices from Penny and her flavor-industry peers with the goal of simplifying the flavor supply chain. Each stakeholder’s needs are shared, and the feedback helps to refine the forms further.
The theme that emerged during the discussion is the overwhelming complexity of the flavor industry and the extraordinary amount of documentation required by stakeholders throughout its supply chain.
“There are, on average, 30 required documents per item or ingredient, and most flavor companies purchase anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 items from hundreds of suppliers around the world,” TraceGains Account Executive Amanda Torbett explained. “They also must manage certifications and many other materials that verify the attributes of their products. It’s staggering how much documentation they need to manage, and it’s impossible for them to do it manually. That’s where TraceGains comes in. The system gives people in the flavor business one platform to collaborate with suppliers, and to digitally track all information exchanges.”
TraceGains Supplier Management allows flavor companies to automate document collection and workflows. The system collects and digitizes questionnaires, letters of guarantee, proof of insurance, country of origin, and certifications, and many other mission-critical documents. It tracks supplier-provided corporate and item-level documentation and sends automatic alerts when necessary documentation is missing, about to expire, or incomplete.
With TraceGains, flavor companies can quickly identify how individual suppliers and raw materials affect product outcomes such as customer satisfaction, profitability, yield, and quality. Suppliers are evaluated continuously and ranked on business-critical KPIs that go beyond traditional measures of cost and on-time delivery.
Find out how TraceGains Supplier Management can help your flavor business today.