Are you a confectionery, dairy, juice, or snack manufacturer?
Perhaps you handle production at a meat, poultry and seafood processing plant, are the head of product development at a pharmaceutical company, or are a start-up specialising in plant-based food products. Whichever business you are in, you know how crucial food flavour suppliers are to your supply chain.
The Essential Role of Food Flavours
If you’re selling a chocolate Danish pastry, your customers expect to taste chocolate. Even if you use the most premium cocoa powder in your creation, your product would flop if your customers don’t think it’s chocolatey enough.
Food flavours enhance product taste profiles by strengthening naturally occurring flavours or replacing flavours lost through processing. Ultimately, they help you deliver on customer expectations and boost sales.
Food flavours also disguise unpleasant notes in necessary ingredients. This is often the case in pharmaceutical products. The essential compounds that give medicines their therapeutic properties can taste revolting, and food flavours help mask their off-putting taste.
Food flavours also provide manufacturers and food processors with a cost-efficient way to offer specific tastes and aromas regardless of ingredient limitations. For instance, a juice and beverage manufacturer can offer tropical fruit flavours despite the absence or dearth of the actual fruit supplies.
Finding a Food Flavour Supplier
Manufacturers, pharma companies, and food processing companies should have many options when it comes to food flavour suppliers.
In the Middle East and Africa or the MEA region alone, a compound annual growth rate of 5.656% is forecasted for the period 2021 to 2025. The market is growing, indicating the presence and growth of the industry’s key players.
The many options, of course, mean deciding on a supplier can be challenging. However, you can use the following characteristics as guidelines in selecting a food flavour supplier.
1. Distribution Network and Logistics Infrastructure
Naturally, you want your ingredients on the day your supplier promised to provide them.
Supply delivery delays can mean spoilage, leading to food loss which, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), already stands at 30-40%. Even if the other ingredients do not spoil, storing them for later use can mean extra costs and potential quality degradation.
Supply chain disruptions also mean production delays. These will not only damage your reputation among your clients or distribution partners. They may even incur you fines and penalties.
Therefore, choose a food flavour supplier with a well-established distribution network and a well-oiled logistics infrastructure.
How many warehouses does your supplier have, and where are they located? Do they have a lot of stock in these warehouses, and how do they maintain their inventory in peak condition? What methods do they use to deliver orders, and how long does it take them to fulfil them?
If you’re a beverage manufacturer in the UAE that relies heavily on a food flavour supplier, you should check if your food flavour provider has a perfectly maintained and well-stocked warehouse near you. This will secure your supply chain, ensure ingredients are accessible and give you more flexibility, enabling you to respond to sudden spikes in production demands.
2. Supplier Network
You want a food flavours supplier who can provide all the ingredients you need. This should streamline and simplify your procurement processes and logistics. Getting all your flavourings from one place will also enhance your bargaining power at the negotiating table.
However, this is only possible if your supplier has all the ingredients your production line requires. Thus, you want to work with a company that has an extensive selection of ingredients and a large global network of suppliers. This will ensure your provider will have every liquid, spray-dried, powdered, and granulated flavour for every application.
This will also give you access to flavours available only to distributors, not end users, or aromatics available only overseas and can be challenging to find.
3. Expertise and Innovation
You can go to most flavour suppliers and find your generic ingredient requirements. However, what if you are developing a new product, like, say vegan skin-care vitamin gummies?
In this case, your product composition may not work well with any flavouring ingredient already available in the market. Even if a suitable flavour already exists, you want only natural, plant-based ingredients.
In such a use-case scenario, you have two options. You can create your flavour yourself, or you can partner up with a flavour laboratory that has the high-tech facilities and expertise to develop a taste that matches the profile and composition you require and works perfectly with your proprietary recipe. Unless you already have the facilities and flavour specialists, the second option is much more efficient and practical.
Thus, consider working with a food flavour supplier with state-of-the-art facilities, creative flavour specialists, and access to advanced research and development centres. This will accelerate the process of product development and enable you to fulfil your vision much quicker.
4. Customer Support
Suppose your staff messed up an order, placing a request for spray-dried flavouring instead of the powdered variant.
Do you have a contact person you can call who can trace your order quickly, find it and modify it or just cancel it, so you can replace it with the correct purchase order? Does your supplier update you about your order status and call you after delivery to check if the products are in good condition and if you received everything you wanted?
Customer support should be one of your criteria for choosing a supplier. You want a company that does not care only about the sales but also about its customers, ensuring its processes make things easy for clients and providing stellar after-sales support.
Find the Right Food Flavour Supplier
Food flavourings enhance the taste of products, boost sales, mask unpleasant tastes, and provide manufacturers, food processors, and pharmaceutical companies with a cost-efficient way to offer unique flavours within production constraints.
When choosing a food flavour supplier, look for one with an established distribution network and logistics infrastructure, a global supplier network, state-of-the-art facilities and expert flavour specialists, and excellent customer support.