Although cost is a prime consideration for food firms at the best of times, since it became apparent that the world was heading for a downturn the Danish ingredients firm has energetically pursued various ways in which its customers can reduce reliance on costly ingredients and processes, and make food last longer.
These solutions are now being brought together in a database, which Danisco will use as a tool in discussions with customers – by both sales team and application teams.
Birgitte Mikkelsen, applications group manager, told FoodNavigator.com the approach is “an inspiration based on all solutions developed over the last year”. At the moment around 140 solutions are included, but it is an on-going project that will be continuously updated.
“We have taken a holistic approach to the problems our customers are facing,” said Mikkelsen, and this has led to the identification of different areas for cost-saving potential, such as in formulation, processing, supply chain management, and shelf-life extension.
In addition, the developers have drawn on data sources and knowledge of markets to draw up a picture of how consumers behave in a recession, and which sectors will be most affected.
For instance, it forecasts that the industry will “split in two”. On the one hand, premium and indulgent products will prove resilient, and on the other hand value-for-money foods will benefit.
In addition, consumers are more reluctant to throw away food in a recession, meaning that shelf-life extension is a priority to make food last longer.
This knowledge, Mikkelsen said, is used to “make analysis of what we need to develop”.
Danisco bases its work around its customers’ needs. In addition to observing the market and looking to pre-empt their requirements, it also develops specific solutions to meet particular requests.
While the database will not compromise the trust in tailor-made solution, they may be “put into a generic form, if we can learn from it”.
The solutions are said to be applicable to both manufacturers of branded foods and private labels.