More than a Trend: Organic Alternatives Picking Up Steam in the Food and Beverage Industry
In the United States alone, sales of organic foods are estimated to reach $35 billion in 2014, up from $28 billion in 2012. Showing no signs of being a fading trend, consumers indicate that organic alternatives to both raw and processed foods are becoming a more prevalent constituent of their grocery bills. Up to 73% of the U.S. population reports occasional consumption of organic foods and beverages. Interestingly, that rate is divided unequally between millennials and boomers, 86% and 63%, respectively. This data suggests that as generations are replaced, the demand for organic foods and beverages will increase.
Targeting this emerging organic market may require extensive changes for firms in the food and beverage industry in terms of product reformulations or new product development. An “organic” designation doesn’t just mean that tomatoes come from a local grower. In fact, depending on the type of food, organic can mean free of pesticides, genetically modified organisms or antibiotics use. Many organic foods are now authenticated to assure consumers that what they’re purchasing (and paying premiums for) is actually organic. If your firm is interested in targeting the organic food and beverage market, investment in a digital lab can position your firm to efficiently make the transition. Take a look at some of the benefits of a digital lab that can set your firm on the right path:
Digital records management
Producing organic foods can be expensive and difficult since many of the typical cost-effective industry processes cannot be utilized. Therefore, firms will need to invest significant research energy and money into developing new organic products that taste great. From investigating alternative sweeteners to designing new product processing procedures, labs will be producing and maintaining large amounts of data. An electronic laboratory notebook (ELN) can help your lab manage large amounts of records in one simple, searchable format. Experiments can be quickly recorded using productivity boosting features like entry cloning and experiment templates to save users time. The comprehensive search function makes it easy to find old records using project name, experiment type, date intervals or chemical structures as search options.
Secure intellectual property
A digital lab can help protect your firm’s intellectual property (IP) by providing a permanent digital record of every new product’s timeline, from the moment the idea hits the paper (or ELN) to when it reaches the market. A built-in digital signature function with workflow reminders helps ensure that all experiments are signed and countersigned for witnessing and project validation. A comprehensive digital record can help support your claim in the event of an IP dispute.
New entries into the organic food and beverage market could benefit from the experience of other traditionally organic firms. Thus, firms in the food and beverage industry may collaborate with other companies to develop and produce reformulations or new products. An ELN can help promote collaborations by providing a central location to deposit data, send correspondences, and include annotations on documents or data. User access can be designated based on project so that the same system can be used across multiple collaborations without risking loss of confidentiality.
Firms in the food and beverage industry that are interested in reaching the expanding organic foods and beverages market should consider investing in a digital to lab to improve research and development processes. Visit the Accelrys website to learn more about the comprehensive features of the Accelrys Notebook.