rfxcel’s Food and Beverage team attended the PMA Fresh Summit last month in Anaheim, California. From October 17-19, we talked about the latest in food production, distribution, and marketing, and how companies that harness supply chain data will win the future. Here’s a rundown of the key takeaways!
1. New product innovation aimed at specific segments
Focusing on consumer interests and personalizing experiences continue to gain traction with food and beverage companies. For example, the ketogenic — or “keto” — diet has piqued the industry’s interest. It limits foods that are high in carbohydrates, such as sugar, bread, and pasta, in favor of foods with higher fat and protein content, such as meat, fish, cheese, eggs, and nuts. Leafy greens (e.g., spinach, kale, chard, collards) are also okay on keto.
2. Cauliflower and nuts make a (gluten-free) splash
The industry is taking notice of gluten — or, more precisely, a lack thereof. Producers are taking a commodity, cauliflower chief among them, and making it a value-add raw material to cater to brands making gluten-free products. Consumers want alternatives to traditional wheat- and flour-based products such as bread, pasta, rice, and snacks. Foods with rye and barley are also no-no’s in a gluten-free diet. We’re talking whole grains (e.g., quinoa, brown rice, oats), fresh fruits and veggies, red meat, poultry, seafood, plant-based proteins (e.g., legumes, nuts, seeds), and traditional soy foods such as tofu and edamame. Cauliflower rice has been grabbing headlines lately, and nut crusts have also become very popular.
3. Functional ingredients are trending
A functional ingredient is a bioactive compound typically recovered through separation, purification, or concentration techniques. Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil is a popular example. It’s made from coconut or palm kernel oil, is easy to digest, and the body readily turns it into usable energy. Today, it’s added to smoothies, bulletproof coffee, and salad dressings. Look for functional ingredients to continue to gain steam as consumers see them as nutritional must-haves.
4. Using supply chain data to make business better
rfxcel is all about the data, so we were very excited to exhibit our latest track and trace innovations, which work together to yield real-time validated data at the unit, case, pallet, and lot levels.
We ran a live demo of our Integrated Monitoring (rIM) solution, which works with any sensor and gives users an array of super-rich data, from cut-to-cool time to in-transit conditions on land, sea, and air. We brought our improved MobileTraceability app along to show how it captures and reports on data when and where it happens and builds trust by empowering consumers to validate a product’s provenance. And, of course, we showcased our signature Traceability System (rTS), which has been empowering supply chain excellence since 2003.
Visitors to our booth saw how our solutions harness mobile technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) for the most complete view of production and distribution. Growers can collect and report accurate data from the field. All trading partners have access to high-quality, real-time data — including data from sensors — that they can use to improve operations and customer experiences. It’s too much to get into here, but check out our short video to see some of what we can do!
As consumers demand more diet-specific products and diverse raw materials and functional ingredients continue to enter the supply chain, you need to proactively manage risk and traceability/visibility. If you’re looking for supply chain solutions that yield the data you need and can adapt to industry trends, look no further than rfxcel. It doesn’t matter which consumers you need to reach or how you need to configure and track your supply chain. From keto devotees and gluten-free consumers to people who just want to know where their produce was grown, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today to book an appointment.