Food formulation is one of the most critical aspects of food and beverage product development. It gives producers and manufacturers a data-packed roadmap toward improved formulation processes, reinforced regulatory compliance, full raw material traceability, healthier margins and future product innovation. Here’s how it works.
The Process of Food Formulation
Food formulation software gives food and beverage manufacturing teams the power to access every last bit of information required for product development, including raw material and recipe data, R&D documentation, regulatory text and manufacturing process operations. Teams can then easily use all relevant data to optimize product recipes, launch recipe variations and bring unique, brand-defining products to market at top speed.
Luckily with Centric Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) for Food and Beverage, these essential formulation management capabilities are already baked into the platform, giving both internal teams and third-party stakeholders a centralized data hub packed with real-time visibility, instantaneous communication and streamlined collaboration, whether they’re two doors down or two time zones away.
Read on to discover the top six benefits of food formulation management with PLM. Plus, see how Centric’s own formulation management capabilities drive safety and compliance across the supply chain, deliver fresh, innovative, top-quality products to market at top speed and foster an efficient approach to product development for today’s discerning market.
What are the Benefits of Formulation Management for the Food and Beverage Industry?
1. Maintains Safety Standards
Compliance and safety are two of the most fundamental aspects of product development for the food and beverage sector. So it’s no surprise producers and manufacturers both rely on formulation management technology to reduce safety and compliance risk across the food supply chain.
With Centric PLM for Food and Beverage, users can leverage the platform’s cloud-based infrastructure, real-time communication and closed loop integration to share core recipe data between marketing, R&D, procurement, quality and regulatory teams. So if a product’s primary recipe requires modification in any way, be it through raw material substitution or updated formulation methodology, Centric will automatically adjust existing management processes to ensure product compliance, accurate labeling, and authentic documentation.
2. Ensures Traceability
Another important factor of food and beverage formulation is the ability to track and trace raw materials down to their most detailed level—from where they were sourced, how they were processed, and whether suppliers have adhered to compliant practices. Sure, most formulation management systems can offer this key data, but the differentiating factor here is speed.
With Centric PLM’s formulation management capabilities, users not only have the means to trace ingredients and formulation processes; they also have the speed and efficiency to make essential business decisions based on this data. That’s because Centric offers a seamless integration with enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, giving product manufacturers the precise details they need to pinpoint products affected by a contaminated or non-compliant ingredient, whether they’re in production, on their way to store shelves, or already stocked in aisle nine.
Read our white paper to learn more about the benefits of ERP and PLM integration.
3. Enhances Quality Management
As a food and beverage manufacturer, the last thing you want is to deliver a subpar product to market. That’s why companies have a dedicated team of quality assurance experts making sure every item coming down the pipeline is up to snuff. And though it seems practical in theory, the siloed aspect of this organizational framework makes it difficult for quality assurance and product development teams to collaborate and ensure product integrity.
The good news is, with Centric PLM, that’s not even an issue. The Centric platform consolidates all quality management data within its digital ecosystem, so each product development stakeholder can access, update, and share information in real time. What’s even more helpful? Centric pulls quality data directly from formulation specification templates, which users can then use to enforce quality regulations throughout the product development process. This allows teams to keep a continuous eye on product information and assess particular issues affecting product quality.
4. Validates Claims and Label Information
According to a survey conducted by the International Food Information Council, 69% of consumers examine a product’s nutrition label to gauge whether it’s healthy enough to eat; meanwhile 67% rely on ingredient lists for the same information. That’s a huge percentage of the market, which just goes to show how important it is to ensure accurate, validated claims and label information on product packaging.
Thanks to Centric PLM’s centralized data platform, food and beverage manufacturers can rest assured their packaging reflects true and accurate claims. Users can leverage the platform’s formulation and labeling features to automatically create product labels, so when it’s time to create packaging for a new or updated product, Centric will automatically pull data from these product specification templates and generate placeholders for attributes like ingredient listings, weight, images and country of origin. Centric PLM even provides data on local regulatory requirements, so packaging engineers can easily create regional-specific labeling in multiple languages.
5. Optimizes Product Portfolio
Like the saying goes, out with the old and in with the new. At least that’s the credo of most food and beverage brands. Because as quickly as consumer needs shift and new trends emerge, food and beverage manufacturers have to be able to quickly adapt their products to meet these unique market demands. Luckily, there’s a solution for that: formulation management.
With Centric PLM, R&D teams, product engineers and external partners can access the platform’s centralized data repository to review all product-related info, including sales and formulation specifics. And since Centric’s cloud-based ecosystem operates in real-time, stakeholders can measure product performance and determine if a revamp is in order. If the answer is yes, users can create, modify, or update formulas already saved within the system, making recipe optimization a smooth and efficient process.
6. Supports Innovation
The food and beverage business isn’t really known for its roomy profit margins. And as market competition gains momentum year over year, growth only becomes that much more difficult to achieve. That’s why it’s important for companies to embrace change and drive innovation through technology integration and digitization. Doing so not only creates value for your brand, but it also introduces key differentiation that’s attractive to consumers. But without a product lifecycle management solution in place to facilitate purposeful change, innovation becomes a time-consuming process that’s counterintuitive to the needs of a rapidly changing market.
Having Centric at your side eliminates that challenge entirely. Centric’s integrated PLM platform supports various capabilities—like product formulation software—to enhance and optimize product development. In lieu of disparate systems, individual spreadsheet reports, and siloed data, the platform consolidates all this information in real-time, so users can establish strategic processes to quickly and creatively respond to market needs.