What You Need To Know About Food Business Consulting

A lot of effort and work can go into manufacturing a new food product before it hits the shelves, and is ready to be purchased by the public. There are so many different food products on the market these days that it is hard for companies to launch new products, without spending a lot of time and money on product consulting.

Any company that wishes to bring a new product onto the market, will need to be fully up to speed on the latest market trends, otherwise their new product could well turn out to be a spectacular, not to mention costly, failure. In this article, we will look at the importance of food business consulting, and how it can help you when launching a new product.

Getting to know the market trends

Market trends tend to change quite rapidly and what is popular one day can be unpopular the next, however, one trend in the food industry which is here to stay, is healthy eating. Whether it is low fat, low salt food, or something made entirely from organic produce, the health food market is one of the fastest growing in the world. With so many food manufacturers coming under fire for the high fat and salt content of their foods, more and more companies are looking at ways to market their products as healthier than they once were. With more people becoming health conscious, it would be wrong for the food companies not to embrace the new culture of healthy eating. However, there is still a lot of work that needs to take place before a company can launch a new healthy product onto the market.

Getting the balance right

For all those people who want healthier versions of their favorite foods, there are still plenty of people who would rather keep buying the more traditional version. And this delicate balancing act is something that most food producing companies need to find, if they want to make their products a success. This is where food product consulting can help, as this will involve keeping an eye on market trends and doing some market research.

It is not just the ingredients that can sway people into buying a certain product, the packaging is also important to product development. The history of the food manufacturing industry is littered with products that failed to attract sufficient sales, because the packing was badly designed, and it did not give the consumer enough information about the product. So this is something else that food product consulting can help with.

Gasoline Prices And Their Influence On Commercial Agriculture Vs Local Food Production

Most of the places I’ve lived, I’ve had a small garden adjacent to my home. I’ve been able to walk right out my door and harvest fresh herbs, greens, sometimes tomatoes, peppers, or fruits like strawberry, raspberry, or cherries. This experience is very different from the food supply most people in the United States experience, and which I also partake in.

Most food in the U.S. is consumed when people go to the supermarket, purchase the food, and then take it home. Behind the scenes though, a lot of things needed to happen in order for that food to reach the supermarket: the store had a whole infrastructure supporting it. Larger supermarkets often have central supply and distribution centers, which collect the food and then ship it out to smaller stores. Trucks deliver the food. Food is shipped around the world on barges and across continents on railroads and by long-distance truck lines.

The disparity in gasoline or petroleum usage in these two models

There are many differences between the model of growing your own food, and buying it at the store, but one of the most striking ones, and the one that I will focus on here, is their difference in gasoline or petroleum consumption.

Growing food outside your own home takes minimal fuel; it can be accomplished with no fuel at all, and if it uses any fuel, it is only in driving to the garden center to buy plants or driving to the store to buy some tools–and these trips only occur at most a few times.

On the other hand, the model of food production and distribution that gets food to the supermarket is petroleum-intensive. Fuel needs to be burned at each stage of the shipping process, and since most people drive to the supermarket here in the U.S., fuel is also burned in that last stage of the process. There is typically even a lot of fuel used in the production itself, to fuel large agricultural machinery, as well as shipping of supplies to the large commercial farms that produce the food.

Commercial agriculture is more sensitive to gasoline prices or oil prices

Considering the massive disparity in fuel usage, it is obvious that large-scale commercial agriculture is much more sensitive to gas prices than home gardening or small-scale local farming. In many cases, you can even observe this influence in the price of various goods on the shelf in the supermarket. When oil prices go up, certain food prices tend to go up, and vice versa when prices fall.

If we want to support small-scale local food production

There are numerous, compelling reasons to shift food production in our society away from large-scale commercial agriculture and towards more small, local production. These include greater economic self-sufficiency, greater sustainability, reduced pollution, reduced dependence or oil, diversification of local economies, increased freshness of food and the health benefits that come with it, and increased knowledge and experience with plants, farming, and agriculture that comes with more people being closer to and more involved in the food production.

I see two takeaways from this: the first is that rising gas prices create a strong incentive for smaller-scale, local food production. The second is that supporting this more traditional system of food production, even if it is with something as simple as having a garden at your home, can help us to become less dependent on oil and help our food supply to be less sensitive to gasoline prices.

A hidden benefit of the federal gas tax

The federal gas tax has historically been unpopular, but there has been growing support in recent years to raise this tax as a way of funding the unsustainable costs of road and highway maintenance and construction. The dependence of commercial agriculture on petroleum illustrates another hidden benefit of raising this tax–the creation of stronger incentives for local food production.

Certified Organic Food Products

Organic certification is a process of certification for organic food producers and the producers of other organic agricultural products. Any business that is directly involved in the food production process can seek certification, and this includes the suppliers of seeds and growing materials, farmers, companies that process food items, and restaurants and retailers as well.

From one country to the next you will find that the requirements for organic certification vary, but there are usually production standards in place that dictate growing, storage, packaging, processing and shipping requirements.

These production standards require the avoidance of synthetic chemicals, like pesticides, food additives, fertilizers, antibiotics, organisms that are genetically modified, the use of sewage sludge and irradiation. They also require keeping detailed written records of sales and production, and the use of farmland that has been completely free of all chemical inputs for at least three or more years.

In order to obtain organic certification, it is also required that organic products be completely physically separated from non certified food products, and every certified organic site is required to undergo periodic inspections to show that standards are being maintained.

The concept of organic certification addresses a growing demand for organic food on a truly worldwide level. Certified organic food products exist to assure the quality of the food that we eat, while promoting commerce at the same time. In the earliest days of the organic movement, organic certification was not required but as more consumers turn toward organic food products through the more traditional channels like grocery stores and supermarkets, the need for certification has grown exponentially. In many countries the certification process is overseen by the government, which means that there are legal restrictions on using the term “organic”. Certified organic food product producers are also held to the same level of food health and safety standards as non-certified food producers.

What makes these certifications for organically produced foods such an outstanding idea is that they show consumers which food products can be trusted. Because certified organic food products are held to guidelines and standards, consumers who purchase food items that are certified organic can rest assured that they are grown right, without chemicals or additives, ensuring healthy and risk free food products. The organic movement is growing at a quick and steady pace as more consumers realize the health benefits associated with buying organic.

As more and more consumers turn toward certified organic food products to feed themselves and their families, the guidelines associated with organic certification tend to grow increasingly specific. Growing and processing food organically is not a difficult task at all for most food producers, but it does require that these companies take a long and hard look at the way that they regard the production of food, especially when it comes to growing naturally without pesticides or other chemicals and additives.