The COVID-19 pandemic has not all been bad. Food and beverage producers in particular categories have seen record growth. The overall innovation of artisanal brands is very positive, with consumers choosing to try new products and support local brands.
As we emerge from the level 4 lockdown, the vital question is how to refashion business models to ensure more resilient supply chains while rewarding these artisanal developers.
In this, financing and technology are essential. With credit lines tight for smaller producers, as banks like to secure residential homes over loans, gaining good financial backing has always been a complex process.
As agile artisan brands meet consumer demand for product development, personalisation and innovation, larger brands are looking to these smaller producers for innovative solutions to regain lost ground.
Digital tools are also vital to weathering disruptions in the food chain. Investments in digital technologies can help companies gain agility and better respond to changing consumer demands.
Agility requires the use of data to come out with insights relatively quickly and easily. That agility is sometimes very difficult for some brands to achieve, particularly when consumers demands are changing so rapidly. The pandemic has highlighted the trend for healthy convenience as the convergence of food and health.
Technology traditionally seen in pharmaceutical applications may also offer food and beverage companies opportunities as they look to accelerate ingredient discovery into new formulations.
Brands can use bioinformatics to understand better connections between potential ingredients and their impacts on human health. Producers looking to speed up the product development process may turn to ingredient informatics, leveraging ingredient data to predict the consumer response to new products or variants with more accuracy.
There are ways you can work with bigger brands to help rapidly profile that new flavour and predict what the consumer response might be - allowing more rapid decisions about innovative ingredients and the possibilities for future products.
Collaborations are very popular, allowing brands to share the cost of development and is particularly evident with ingredient collaborations to improve new products' taste, texture, colour, and flavour.
If you are open to possible collaboration and not sure where to look, don't hesitate to get in touch with us, we have a range of brands that are open to a confidential discussion.