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Technology and Brand Reputation

2021/06/18

As the CPG industry is continuously changing with the rapid rise of challenger brands and new trends in shopping habits, the need for control and validated on-pack and e-label information has never been more paramount.

With these changes comes complexity and the need to transform this data to on-pack and digital labels. This data is often managed using existing platforms such as Excel or Word, but for those who want to manage, validate and use this data in multiple ways, the use of these methods to capture information is inappropriate and inefficient. Managing data in this way increases the likelihood of human error and product recalls and increases the burden on already overloaded employees. This effect can ripple through organisations, reducing efficiency and affecting wellbeing as a result of demands and pressures placed upon staff.  

Alleviate Project Pain

Technology cannot stop negative behaviour and safety practices, adopting a technology-based solution significantly improves productivity and efficiency whilst having the additional benefit of reducing pressures and stresses faced by employees. 

Not only does technology benefit employees, without it, CPG businesses could face potentially damaging consequences to their brands as the result of managing data and artwork in a way that is likely to incur risk or error. 

In a world where there is much better understanding about employee well-being, plus the very real problem of Covid ‘burn-out’ that many teams are suffering from as a result of such an intense period, it is the brands that provide a positive culture and the correct tools to enable teams to be productive that will shine.

Leveraging Labelling Technology

In 2016, 15 year-old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died from anaphylactic shock as a result of consuming sesame seeds which had not been included as an ingredient on a Pret-A-Manger sandwich label. Although the company wasn’t in breach of any labelling requirements, the company faced huge backlash from customers and media who believed critical information should always be available. The damaged reputation following the scandal left Pret vulnerable, but they have since proactively invested in technology to act in advance of “Natasha’s Law”, which will require all food businesses to provide a full list of ingredients and allergens on foods packaged for sale on premises. This has positively reversed the brand’s reputation as customers are now aware that they are reacting to changing demand. With this new law set to come into force in October of this year, the need for compliance and safety checks for consumer and non-consumer-facing packaging is of upmost importance. Technology is an effective way to ensure on-pack and e-label data complies with regulations, reducing the risk of error and the effect this has can have on brands.

Allergen Management

Between 28th May – 11th June 2021 alone, there have been 7 allergy alerts according to the Food Standards Agency (FSA) due to undeclared allergens including Soya, Peanuts and Gluten. This has the potential to risk the health, or even life, of consumers who are susceptible to these allergens. Not only could this ruin a brand’s reputation, the cost of recalling products has the ability to single-handedly kill off a brand, with the average cost of recalling a “key” product at over £38,000 (Food Manufacture), though sometimes escalating to £millions. This highlights the importance of preventing recalls by adopting a more robust system to scrutinise every stage of the PLM process. 

Countering Food Fraud 

As a consequence of the changing nature of food, including the growth of conscious-consumers, we have seen an increase in “Food Fraud”, which fundamentally means that raw materials are deliberately contaminated or misrepresented on labelling and packaging. 97% of businesses have reported being affected by Food Fraud in the last year. The Covid- 19 pandemic has particularly accelerated this, due to the reduction in the flow of goods during the first national lockdown. If Food Fraud has been identified in a product, it can create serious trust issues from consumers, damaging brand reputation. This has become a growing concern for 80% of beverage businesses. To prevent fraud, Arun Chauhan suggests not only establishing an employee-oriented culture, but also leveraging processes.  Having robust technology in place to lock-down master specifications in order to ensure that the original recipe is adhered to with the correct ingredients helps to de-risk the introduction of fraud and quickly flag potential issues. Holding suppliers accountable for the specification helps to drive traceability and transparency.

4Pack

At 4Pack, whilst we can’t stop offline physical errors, we can mitigate risks and leverage your data by supporting compliance with validation and approval checkpoints throughout the specification process. 4Pack is unique, combining packaging and product specification content management (PPSCM) with artwork and labelling (LAM), ensuring that we cater to your individual business’ needs. With the rapidly changing industry and growing demand for compliance, turn to technology to control product and pack-copy data with 4Pack. 

Contact us to find out more. 

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