March 2021

How Flavor Becomes Your Strategy for Growth

Adding flavor variety or limited-edition offerings to your food or beverage assortment is a well-known lever for generating excitement for customers and incremental sales. It’s fun to hear the buzz about the next ‘it’ flavor and find the flavors that link to changing consumer needs. But making flavor a foundational element of your organizational plans can be a game-changer.

Why Infuse Flavor into Your Business Plan

Establishing flavor as a vital element of a customer-centric strategy makes sense because taste is the primary way consumers experience food and beverages. When customers trust that your brand will always meet or exceed taste expectations, they’ll become loyal advocates.

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Customers who have a good experience are 34% more likely to buy again and 37% more inclined to recommend your brand to others.

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Almost 9 in 10 customers will pay more for a great experience.

Delivering exceptional taste can boost your success:

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According to Forbes, companies with a customer-experience mindset drive revenue 4-8% higher than competitors.

What is a Flavor-First Strategy

The Flavor Extracts Manufacturing Association (FEMA) calls a flavor-first strategy ‘a silver bullet’ for successfully developing foods and beverages in growing categories.

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You can start by instilling a culinary perspective across your teams, from product development through procurement, production, sales, and marketing.

Encouraging ‘foodie’ perspectives and sharing flavor trend information throughout the organization keeps your teams engaged with taste and focused on your product line’s unique flavor proposition.

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Then, establish product development protocols that prioritize customer needs, quality ingredients, flavor science, and culinary techniques over function.

For example, consumer interest in low-calorie, natural beverages may lead you to consider using stevia as a sweetener. Understanding how stevia affects flavor, mouthfeel, sweetness, and acidity is essential to creating a drink that delights customers.

Instead of starting development with the stevia source, let the beverage flavors that appeal to consumers, like orange or lemon, drive the type of stevia blend you use. Your flavor partner can help you determine whether you use glycoside to optimize taste.

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Fold flavor into your customer messaging, too. When you weave stories around the flavors of your brand, you build interest and connection with consumers. Innova identified storytelling as an effective technique for educating customers about ingredients, taste, and cultural influences.

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The power of flavor is undeniable when reviewing many of consumers’ top-ranked food and beverages that call out flavor as a primary driver of appeal.

Regulatory News

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has now transitioned to conducting routine inspections of small businesses to verify compliance with the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act’s (FSMA) Intentional Adulteration (IA) rule. Small businesses (companies with less than 500 employees) were required to be in full compliance of the IA rule back in July 2020. However, due to COVID 19, the FDA postponed inspections until March 2021 to help facilitate industry’s continuing efforts to put in place measures that will protect public health, while allowing the FDA additional time to conduct outreach to stakeholders. The rule requires applicable food facilities to develop and implement a food defense plan that identifies significant vulnerabilities at actionable process steps and implements mitigation strategies to address those vulnerabilities.
More information about the rule is available here.

The Kombucha Act, recently introduced in the U.S. Congress, seeks to raise the ABV threshold at which kombucha can be taxed as an alcoholic beverage to 1.25%. Currently, the ABV level at which kombucha shifts from a non-alcoholic beverage to ‘beer’ for tax purposes is 0.5%, and products are subject to federal excise taxes. A press release from one of the bill’s sponsors, Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3), surmises no one consumes kombucha “because of its insignificant alcohol content.” Blumenauer further explains that “there’s no reason why kombucha sellers and brewers should get taxed like beer.”
Read more about the proposed bill here.

Company Update

Planting the Seeds of Change in our Communities

New community opportunities are sprouting as Spring starts to bloom. It’s been 51 years since the first Earth Day in 1970. Our team is springing into action to honor the day, giving each staff member seeds to plant flowers/vegetables at home or in our local community gardens. 

Earth Day serves as a reminder that we can help preserve our planet’s resources by:

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Educating others on climate action

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Volunteering at local community gardens

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Donating to conservation and restoration causes

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Recycling plastic and discovering new ways to reduce pollution

Is your company considering doing something special on Earth Day? Visit EarthDay.org, an organization with a mission to diversify, educate and activate environmental movements globally, to find unique ways/activities to celebrate. Together we can plant the seeds for the next generation to have a blossoming future.

Flavorful News is Coming Soon

National Flavors, Bonnie & Don Flavours, and GSB Flavor Creators joined forces over the past year. We’ve aligned our teams and resources to provide robust support to food and beverage companies throughout North America.

Helping you deliver delicious taste experiences goes beyond flavor science expertise. Successful product launches require:

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An understanding of market dynamics and consumer expectations.

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Knowledge of food safety and regulatory compliance.

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Skill with product commercialization and production efficiency.

We’re embarking in a direction that builds on a long heritage of exceptional customer service, innovation, and operational excellence, and we look forward to sharing more with you soon!

Coming up next month:

Functional Foods & Beverages:
Spotlight on Sports and Energy Drinks

For weekly flavor news, connect with us through LinkedIn.

Ready to create a flavor experience?