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Food and Beverage Products
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The food and beverage products industry is a highly competitive business sector. Players in this industry face increasing regulatory compliance requirements, changing consumer preferences, and a changing industry landscape. In order to achieve precise operations in sales and marketing, product development, supply chain management (SCM), and cost control, food and beverage product manufacturers need to constantly adjust their strategies based on an accurate understanding of market trends, and make optimal use of available resources. Trends that affect food and beverage companies include the following:
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  • As competitors develop nearly identical products, food and beverage companies need to be more innovative in building brand equity beyond the physical characteristics of their products. Brand image plays a critical role in consumer preference when there is little difference in flavor and texture between similar products.
  • More diverse demographics (i.e., more ethnic/religious groups and lifestyles) represented in a given region are forcing food and beverage companies to do much more granular market segmentation in order to address the broadest range of consumer demands.
  • Food and beverage products have a much shorter life cycle than ever before. This requires better internal and external collaboration at every stage of a product’s development and introduction.
  • Besides general regulatory requirements—such as greenhouse gas emission restrictions—food and beverage companies are facing industry-specific regulatory compliance requirements for product safety and security, which mandate extensive traceability during product development, sourcing, production, and distribution.
  • Large retail chains exert a powerful influence over food and beverage manufacturers. They can dictate rules governing price formation, charging policies, and delivery condition assignments, which results in low margins for food and beverage manufacturers.
  • The growing “private label” business practice in the retail sector is putting brand manufacturers of food and beverages in the delicate situation of maintaining a complex relationship with retailers that are both customers and competitors.
Manufacturing food and beverage products may involve both process manufacturing (e.g., the processing of ingredients) and discrete manufacturing (e.g., packaging). As a result, food and beverage companies may need mixed-mode enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions in order to increase their operational efficiency. Besides ERP systems, merchandising systems (MSs) and point-of-sale (POS) systems are also needed for food and beverage manufacturers that are also retailers.

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