For thousands of years, spices and herbs have been used to flavor 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 is expected to increase demand for organic and natural flavors. The FDA has set a date of Jan. 1, 2020, 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 important than ever for flavor manufactures to track and document exactly what’s going into their products. I attended a flavor industry standardization roundtable during our annual user conference, TGCon this week. Industry veteran Penny Marsh, regulatory manager at Sensient Flavors led the 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. The forms are based on best practices from Penny and her flavor-industry peers with the goal of simplifying the flavor supply chain. The participants shared what’s needed by each stakeholder in the industry and the feedback will be used to further refine the forms.
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 must also manage certifications and many other materials that verify the attributes of their products. It’s staggering how much documentation they need to manage and 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 all information exchange is tracked digitally.”
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. Supplier-provided corporate and item-level documentation is tracked, and automatic alerts are sent 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.