How Extending Shelf-Life Ensures Survival In The Food And Beverage Landscape

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

Having an appropriate shelf-life is perhaps the foremost factor affecting food manufacturing as it directly impacts profitability, says Kemin.


A Competitive Climate With Increasingly Mindful Consumers

Competition is fierce in the packaged foods market—manufacturers are scrambling to secure their market share by trying to keep up with constantly evolving consumer preferences. A recent study by market research company, Euromonitor International, concluded that the world’s packaged foods market was worth approximately USD2.4 trillion in 2018. However, the top three food manufacturers only take up a three percent share of the global market, which highlights the market fragmentation and intensity of global competition.

In an industry as aggressive as the food and beverage business, maximising shelf-life enables brands to reduce overall waste and increase profitability. In other words, the longer a product is able to sit on a shelf, the higher the chances of it being sold, thus reducing waste and adding to revenue. The concept of introducing additives to improve shelf-life is popular—however, using natural ingredients as a solution has recently become more common in reaction to consumer demand for natural substitutes.

The industry is responding to the changing consumer trend towards healthier, more natural food and drinks. This rising consumer trend emphasises the evolving consciousness of the consumer—they want less artificial colouring and flavouring as well as no preservatives in their purchases. These preferences have led to the rising popularity of clean labels. In fact, research company, Mintel, quotes that: “clean-related terms have now emerged as part of consumers’ vocabulary as a new way to say ‘healthy’ (products).”

Clean label denotes a lack of artificiality by signifying that products are minimally processed or additive-free. A product that is labelled free-from artificial additives or only composed of natural ingredients is more attractive to consumers, and manufacturers around the world have leveraged the ‘natural is healthy’ trend to stay relevant in this competitive landscape.


Incorporating Natural Additives To Extend Shelf-Life

“We have progressed to an era where informed consumers are making choices that have a direct impact on manufacturers. Kemin knows those choices, and has meaningful offerings to food and beverage manufacturers,” says Fintan Sit, President of Kemin Food Technologies, Asia.

One of the most common problems faced by food manufacturers is the deterioration of quality in their food and beverages over prolonged periods of time due to microbial contamination and oxidation, which can lead to costly wastage and deviations in taste, colour, and textures.

Synthetic antimicrobials and antioxidants have been preferred in the past because of their efficiency and lower cost in comparison to naturally-derived additives but changing consumer demands are compelling food and beverage brands to explore alternatives that meet the requirements of extending shelf-life while keeping a product natural.

To address these challenges, Kemin provides a range of antioxidant, antimicrobial, and mould-inhibiting additives designed by scientists who have dedicated their entire careers to understanding ingredients, processing techniques, packaging methods, and their effects on food and beverage products on a molecular level.

Kemin is an expert in shelf-life extension and food safety solutions. With dedicated teams working closely with manufacturers, they ensure that food and beverage products meet international regulations, that the packaging can bear the “clean labels” that consumers expect, and that products remain fresh, while taste remaining consistent for longer periods.

Among Kemin’s innovations is a unique method of ingredient blending proudly referred to as Powerpacked Molecule technology, designed to produce a new generation of naturally derived antioxidants that encompass the two-fold benefit of meeting consumer demand for ‘naturalness’ as well the manufacturer’s need to keep waste low and profits high.

Kemin’s antioxidant and food safety solutions, coupled with Customer Lab Services teams, do more than merely extend the shelf-life of packaged food and beverages for our customers. Through the evaluation and identification of manufacturer concerns—as well as lab testing of oxidation, microbial activity, and sensory appeal— Kemin is able to optimise formulations and processes to meet customers’ expectations to maximise the shelf-life of products, and preserve the bottom line for them.


Leveraging The Natural Trend

While health and wellness still remain vital factors of influence in the global packaged food market, manufacturers are encouraged to look into the overall benefits of cost-competitive natural solutions. Kemin’s latest blend of natural ingredients, crafted with Powerpacked Molecule, helps improve the shelf-life of packaged food and imparts a healthier product to the consumer, creating a fresh, tasty and mutually beneficial outcome for both parties.