In Food labeling, Food manufacturing, Nutritional analysis

Using Outdated Technology Could Be Costing You 

In the food industry, where being on the pulse of new trends can make or break your bottom line, the old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” need not apply. When it comes to finding the latest food product, ways to improve sustainability and reduce waste, manufacturers — both veterans and newbies alike– will very literally travel to the ends of the earth to find the newest offering for the consumer to stay relevant.

So why aren’t we applying that same kind of intense passion to our tech? 

This last week I had the honor of listening to some of the greatest minds of the industry at the Foodscape Conference hosted by DataEssentials, another amazing tech company itself. I listened as we covered everything from the upcycling of grains for reuse to the integration of animal cells into fermented beans and mushrooms to produce cell-based meats. The pulse of the industry is beating around refining our processes, reducing our carbon footprint and becoming more intuitive than ever. Companies are going as far as to be use scales that measure the reusable waste in a commercial kitchen repurposed in house to create new products. Talk about innovation. It was mind-blowing. 

What was even more mind-blowing was to find out that a lot of these CPG (consumer packaged goods) companies were still using outdated technology for things like recipe storage, nutrition analysis and product labeling and spending tens, if not hundreds of thousands per year on a process that has been refined so intelligently, bottom-line reduction is merely one of the perks. 

The Costs of Being Outdated

Nutritional analysis of consumer products for accurate food labeling is one of the most important processes in food manufacturing. Discrepancies in analysis can result in inaccurate nutrition facts panel which can cost a company millions in a single product recall. For this reason, companies go to lengths to ensure their product information is accurate. Traditionally, protecting this accuracy meant hiring an in-house dietitian, purchasing ROM software and additional storage on your hard drive to support heavy amounts of data held in— wait for it—- excel spreadsheets. There, I said it, the truth is out there and it’s ugly. 

It is logical to think that as you expand, more funds need to be allocated toward labor. In regards to nutrition analysis, many companies have followed this model. New location = a new dietitian + more ROM based software for the new location. Pretty soon you have multiple successful locations and 20 dietitians on staff with multiple sets of ROM software needing new versions every few years and thousands of Excel worksheets. Do you have a headache yet? You will if you knew how much that would cost. 

The average Dietitian salary is anywhere between $47,000 to $72,000 per year in the United States according to U.S. News.  I think you know where I am going with this. ROM software, which is often in need of additional purchases as updates are added will add another $3,000 to your expenses, not to mention the added cost of training employees on that software. Certain companies will charge up to $2,000 to train your employees. (Why are you paying for training on someone else’s software?) Depending on your turnover rates and the need for updated software and additional training in the years to come, it just begins to get out of hand. 

So now if we’re talking about a large chain of grocery stores with their own store brand of products, having multiple dietitians on staff to support the ongoing product changes, the cost can easily reach into the 7 figure range. For nutritional analysis, data preservation and food labeling? This can’t be right. 

Over at LabelCalc, we’re shocked at the number of inquiries we receive from CPG companies, both large and small, who are manually inputting data or outsourcing to dietitians who aren’t even industry professionals when intelligent cloud-based software is claimed to be the route the industry is trending towards. 

Tech Tailored to the Manufacturer

Imagine for a moment, intuitive software that derives its data to perform your nutrition  analysis using lab tested ingredients straight from the USDA database while also providing the user with the option to add unique ingredients for accurate recipe calculation? Can you picture nutrition technology that has the FDA stamp of approval with integrated regulations such as FDA rounding rules and even guided tools to help you determine product weight loss % for accurate serving size entry? How about the added benefit of a recipe database in a cookbook-like format for easy reference that is also backed-up daily so that your information is protected with unlimited storage capabilities? Did we mention that we have an in-house dietitian on staff so that you don’t have to? P.S. She’s also an industry professional, well versed in working with CPG companies and restaurant chains. 

Would you be surprised to know that even intelligent tech like this will be considered “outdated” in just a few months? At LabelCalc, we pride ourselves on being the resource for CPG companies, regardless of size. So that means that we have to be just as relevant and on the pulse when it comes to industry trends as you do. That being said, new software with added features is being rolled out in just a few short weeks that is even more streamlined to our client’s needs. If you are a manufacturer who is as concerned with staying relevant, your food tech should be no exception. 

You might just be shocked at how much more money you will have to invest in furthering your product and staying on trend by making this bottom-line altering switch. Curious? Take a peek at our pricing and upgrade your tech today. 

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