• Thursday, February 29, 2024
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BusinessDay

Working with the right supplier to bring a new beverage to market (2)

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Arguably, the most important aspect of beverage manufacturing is the procurement of safe and reliable water sources. While not as much of a challenge in North America and Western Europe, this is a hurdle faced in many emerging markets. Continuous water supply monitoring is needed to ensure that the water chemistry remains consistent. Weekly microbiological testing is also required to prevent contamination, which can result in lost revenue due to product recalls as well as irreparable damage to the brand. Water samples should be analysed on a quarterly basis, and complete water analysis should be cross-checked with national standards for target markets on an annual basis.

Water sampling practices will depend on the type of treatment system in use. For example, a reverse-osmosis (RO) system can accommodate testing every six hours. Conventional water treatment systems should be checked every hour.

Enlisting help

A good supply partner will be able to advise on the most appropriate water treatment system and provide guidance to the bottler on best practices in continuous analysis to ensure product safety.

Finally, water conservation practices should be put into place. These practices reduce operating costs by allowing bottlers to do more with less, and effectively demonstrate environmentally conscious behaviour. The right supply partner can help manage these crucial supply chain issues, addressing water treatment concerns and training staff to ensure a safe and consistent water supply.

Consistent quality assurance and control

The quality of the ingredients used is equally important in beverage processing. High quality raw ingredients must meet rigid quality control standards and certifications. These ingredients, as well as the final product, must be routinely tested.

Production lines are assessed on the type of product produced, packaging and volumes. Based on that information, a good technical services supplier designs a customised line for the customer’s needs. Once a line is operational, the supplier evaluates how it can be improved, how to reduce costs, and optimize the production line. All raw materials including packaging and ingredients are to be tested and approved before use in final product. In-process testing should also occur throughout the production run to ensure key attributes are within specifications. Finally, finished products should be tested for key attributes before releasing it to the market.

Quality control is vital to success and these practices must be put into place, starting with a qualified and quality-minded workforce.

Enlisting help

Employees must be trained to effectively identify defects throughout the entire manufacturing process. Training must stress the need to eliminate anything that might negatively impact the safety or consistency of a brand. Guidance provided by an experienced industry partner on employee QA/QC training can help to prevent the pitfalls that lead to costly product recalls that can do irreparable damage to a brand.

World-Class Marketing Strategies

After overcoming the many logistical hurdles – from the R&D efforts to develop a unique flavor profile, to the construction of a world-class processing facility with state-of-the-art equipment and a fully-trained staff – a branded and bottled product emerges. However, there is still one more key step needed to effectively get a brand to the consumer: marketing. No less complex or important, proper marketing can include various areas of support including advertising, sales promotions, and sales staff training.

Advertising encompasses a broad range of media-based tools that make use of traditional media, including print, television and radio, as well as social media that targets consumers directly.

 

 Moshy Cohen