Being food producer presents a lot of challenges but, hopefully, as 2017 draws to a close you’ll have a chance to stop and think about what you want to achieve in 2018. Froghop helps food producers develop, deliver, extend and innovate their products. Here’s what we think the top three challenges food producers should be pondering in 2018.
Watch for supply chain surprises
Back in September, M&S, Tesco and Aldi suspended their main chicken supplier, 2 Sisters Food Group, following a very public breach in food safety regulations. Of course, this is just the latest in a long line of food health scares: BSE, GM foods, mislabelling and bacterial concerns, to name but a few.
To weather these industry storms, it’s wise to take proactively look to de-risk your food business. Scrutinise your supply chain and make sure you have blemish-free suppliers for all of the components of your product.
It’s not just about food scares, too. It’s all too easy to become over-reliant on one supplier. If they can no longer produce the ingredients you need or at a price that works for your product, you are putting your business at significant risk. One thing that will save you time in the long run, is to have a back-up list of suppliers.
Become as discerning as the consumer
Consumers have become very savvy and are increasingly knowledgeable about the provenance of the ingredients that go into the food they buy. Our advice is to undertake a frank audit of the individual components of your product. Root out anything that might be considered a weak point whether it is an artificial ingredient, an overload of sugar (or fat), an unpopular ingredient or an element that has a less than amazing provenance. Consider effective alternatives for a 2018 revamp and remember that every ingredient matters.
Stand out from your competitors
Given the sheer volume of producers entering the food market every year, it’s certainly a challenge to stand out from the crowd – but it’s never been more important.
Our advice? Less is more. Pick the one – yes just one – selling point that is the highlight of your product. Then use that to position your product, on the packaging and in your marketing. Consumers walking by the aisles in their local supermarket, or browsing online, need to very quickly see the main selling point of your product. It’s common to have a long list but, in our experience, cramming it all out front is a mistake. A single USP is much more eye-catching and effective.