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Win hearts and markets in F&B with sustainability and more emerging trends in 2024

The appetite for sustainability continues to grow. According to a report by CSIRO, Australia is earmarked to ramp up efforts to secure a more sustainable, productive and resilient future for its food, environment and people.

With environmental improvements and public health outcomes at the forefront, CSIRO released a roadmap that emphasises reducing waste and enhancing circularity[1]. 

Amidst growing environmental concerns, consumers are increasingly aware of their impact on the planet and are not only looking to make more eco-conscious choices, but demanding producers participate. From shopping plastic-free, zero waste, or choosing businesses addressing their carbon footprint, sustainability is becoming ‘table stakes.’

Food technology company ADM (Archer-Daniels Midland) observed that roughly 6 in 10 global consumers are interested in trying alternative proteins developed using newer technologies[2]. Additionally, Lux Research reported “increasing sustainability” as a crucial point in boosting brand awareness and increasing market share[3]. If businesses want a seat at the table, a focus on sustainability is expected.

Packaging and labelling are another place where consumers expect brands to reduce their impact. Consumers are paying considerable attention to sustainable packaging. If a brand is offering a natural or organic product but packaging it in a way that negatively impacts the environment, it is counterintuitive[4].

Managing sustainability with PLM

From consumer demands to compliance and regulation, food and beverage brands, retailers and manufacturers need to digitalise to keep pace with sustainability demands. A foundational technology such as Centric Product Lifecycle Management (Centric PLM) streamlines sourcing and enables businesses to capture and update accurate raw materials and packaging specs. Reliable centralised data from suppliers means businesses gain the capability to monitor sustainability criteria and make better decisions about their products and packaging. Centric PLM’s supplier management capabilities make it possible to choose quickly from pre-vetted supplier lists that are categorised according to criteria such as sustainable materials and ingredients, fair trade, labour practices, and more.

A PLM solution with an integrated supplier portal enables suppliers to securely access product data, improves transparent communication and streamlines processes such as issuing RFPs and assessing quotes. Raw material libraries in PLM make it easier to choose and track sustainable options when creating new formulations, and sustainability label claims can be seamlessly updated with product data from PLM, ensuring claims are always accurate and up-to-date.

As more sustainability regulation and reporting continue to emerge across the industry, Centric PLM also manages compliance and label claims as products move through development. Ingredients and claims are validated automatically against regional or country-specific regulations and compliance checks are included in the PLM workflow so nothing gets missed and products meet sustainability standards.

Drives for sustainability and transparency will continue to cause a stir, as consumers demand that corporations not only make real changes but also accurately communicate how their food is sourced, produced and distributed. Therefore, investment in the right technology is critical for the food and beverage sector to not only survive—but thrive—in response to greater pressure from both consumers and regulatory bodies.

Discover more emerging F&B Trends in 2024 such as AI, food and beverage regulation, and label claims for retailers, brands and manufacturers by downloading the eBook: Sparking Innovation: The Top 5 Food and Beverage Trends of 2024.

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