We’ve been talking a lot lately about supply chains. Disruptions in supply chains have affected all aspects of our lives, and this is especially prevalent when looking at the food and beverage industries. As our CRO Greg Study wrote for Greenbook, supply chain “shortages force the hands of food and beverage companies to find substitutes or replacements that are still accepted by consumers so they can keep their products on the shelves.”
Enter market research! Greg goes on in the article to state that in order to respond to supply chain shortages and disruptions successfully, consumer and behavioral market researchers must partner deeply with food scientists to navigate these times. We also dig deeper into this issue in our recent webinar, “How to Navigate Supply Chain Disruptions.”
Society of Sensory Professionals Conference
We are looking forward to the upcoming Society of Sensory Professionals (SSP) annual conference in Savannah November 2-4, for a chance to once again share our expertise on this important topic. The theme of the conference is “Surviving to Thriving: Sensory Opportunity in a Decentralized Age,” so navigating current supply chain issues fits well. This year, SSP is celebrating the diversity of technologies, opinions, cultures and methodologies that allow sensory and consumer science to thrive under adverse conditions.
Reformulation Due to Supply Chain Issues
InsightsNow will be participating in the ever-popular poster session with a few relevant topics, including a poster presentation on supply chains. In our poster titled, “Sensory & consumer methods when facing reformulation due to supply chain changes,” Greg, along with our CEO Dave Lundahl, will explore three different reactions companies may have to supply chain shortages.
Approaches to Solving Supply Chain Disruption
In both our Greenbook article, and our recent webinar, we outlined these scenarios, which will also be included in our poster at SSP. Basically, when food and beverage products must be reformulated due to ingredient supply chain issues, companies can choose three ways forward:
- Match a currently unavailable ingredient with a comparable alternative from a new supplier or another available source, with little or no change noticed by the consumer;
- Undergo a forced change away from the currently unavailable ingredient to a replacement that will be perceived as noticeably different by the consumer;
- Use this as an opportunity to improve the product by enhancing its sensory and/or nutritional value.
The poster shares details on the evaluation decision tree, and will highlight the best market research approaches to ensure success no matter which path forward is chosen.