What to Expect From A Flavor Company: The Benefits of a FlavorSum Partnership

by | May 9, 2024

Flavors in foods or beverages may represent less than 2% of the finished volume, yet 9 out of 10 people choose “taste” as their primary reason for purchase. Small but mighty, the power of flavor is indisputable, making your choice of a flavor company essential to the in-market acceptance and success of your next innovation. The FlavorSum team explains what you can expect when you partner with us for flavor solutions.

Reduce the Headaches of Flavor Development

Your leadership and marketing teams gave a “thumbs up” to the next innovative food or beverage concept. You have the budget details and launch schedule, and it’s time to start formulation work. How can your flavor company help you reach your goals?

FLAVOR CREATION IS “ON POINT”

You can source a pineapple flavor designed for beverages from many, many flavor companies in North America. But finding a flavor system that aligns with your concept for a natural fruity, juicy, ripe pineapple with a citrus end note requires a skilled flavorist. Flavor chemists use their knowledge of flavor constituents to gather ingredients that, when combined, deliver the taste that fulfills your concept.  

You’ll get the right results from a flavor team that listens to you and asks the questions that help them align with your objectives. Some may even have a project brief template to guide flavor development.

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FlavorSum Stand-Out Statistic: Certified flavor chemists sit in each of our Innovation Centers in Kalamazoo, MI, Marlton, NJ, and Mississauga, ON. In addition to creating flavors, they lead training sessions on-site or virtually, helping your teams gain a deeper understanding of flavor development and sensory language.

FLAVOR SAMPLES ARRIVE WHEN YOU NEED THEM

Base ingredients arrived, you’ve scheduled lab time to create benchtops, and the pineapple flavor samples are late, derailing your plans for the week. You reach for Excedrin and consider how to compress your efforts to keep the project on course. A flavor company that understands food and beverage development will have a streamlined sample order process and prioritize sample efficiency.

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FlavorSum Stand-Out Statistic: 99.8% of sample requests ship in less than 48 hours.

TECH DOCS ARE READILY AVAILABLE

Although you’ve shared specifications for a natural pineapple flavor with no high-fructose corn syrup or added color, your quality team needs to verify that the ingredients will support label claims. Getting the technical documentation needed to move product development forward can feel like a headache-inducing game of pickleball unless your flavor company has the resources and systems to assist you.

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FlavorSum Stand-Out Statistic: Standard tech docs (e.g., TDS, SDS, and B.E. Statements) are delivered in an average of less than 1.5 days.

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FlavorSum’s Tech Doc Portal, FlavorSum Access, provides customers with on-demand, downloadable tech docs for product purchases and facility and vendor documentation to aid commercialization.

Optimize Your Food or Beverage Formula

Your initial pineapple beverage benchtops aren’t connecting with the marketing and leadership teams. Marketing mentions additional research pointing to the growing segments of no-alc ready-to-drink cocktails and functional beverages. They’ve asked you to pivot the initial concept and focus on a non-alcoholic, low-sugar beverage that contains 50mg of caffeine and l-theanine. How can your flavor company help you address the new formulation challenges?

APPLICATIONS EXPERTS WHO UNDERSTAND FOOD AND BEVERAGE CHEMISTRY

Choosing a flavor company with applications expertise in your category can speed up formulation development. Working with a food scientist who understands chemistry, ingredient characteristics, and product stability for your pineapple, no-alcohol, low-sugar energy beverage will benefit you. You’ll have extra hands to help you balance complex elements and create a taste that’s memorable for all the right reasons. 

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FlavorSum Stand-Out Statistic: Our team includes application scientists with deep expertise in food and beverage categories, including dairy, plant-based dairy, bakery, functional confections, and alcoholic, refreshing, and functional beverages.

A COLLABORATIVE APPROACH TO FORMULA DEVELOPMENT

Product development is demanding, but it doesn’t need to be lonely. Sometimes, an external (but adjacent) perspective can transform your efforts into a favorable outcome. Real-time working sessions with your flavor company’s application scientists and flavorists can move you through the iterative optimization process quickly and effectively.

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FlavorSum Stand-Out Statistic: Our three Innovation Centers in the U.S. and Canada can host in-person or virtual FlavorSum Collaborate sessions where you’ll get responsive, targeted support.

ACCESS TO FLAVORS WITH MODULATING PROPERTIES (FMPS)

When you need to include functional ingredients, like caffeine or need to ensure a great-tasting reduced sugar product, FMPs are flavor solutions that can help deliver a desirable taste. A flavor company with FMPs in its portfolio can provide a single source for flavor systems.

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FlavorSum Stand-Out Statistic: FlavorSum Modulate includes solutions for sweetness optimization, bitterness masking, and protein masking.

Support Your Scale-Up and Launch Schedule

Your flavor system with a delicious pineapple taste and FMPs that address caffeine off-notes and optimize the sweetness, flavor, and mouthfeel of a reduced-sugar formula is ready. You’re heading into a trial production run. What can your flavor company do to facilitate scale-up and commercialization?

ADHERE TO FOOD SAFETY PRODUCTION GUIDELINES

Custom flavors, flavor ingredients, and flavor systems rely on constituents generally recognized as safe (GRAS) through collaboration between flavor companies and experts at the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA). During scale-up and production of the flavor solution, however, food safety systems must be in place to assure the integrity of your non-alc pineapple energy drink product. Sourcing from a flavor supplier with demonstrated food safety systems is essential to your product’s quality.

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FlavorSum Stand-Out Statistic: Our manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and Canada meet the SQF Food Safety Code requirements. The Safe Quality Food (SQF) Program is a Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) benchmarked food safety standard based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP).

SHARE FACILITY AND VENDOR DOCUMENTATION

If you’re working with a new flavor company, your regulatory, quality, and purchasing teams must obtain all relevant health and safety documents demonstrating compliance with quality standards. You may need the supplier to complete a questionnaire with additional details.

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FlavorSum Stand-Out Statistic: Regulatory experts are available at each of our manufacturing sites and respond to non-standard documentation requests in less than six days.

FULFILL EXPECTED FLAVOR DELIVERY ON TIME AND IN FULL

Lead times for full-scale flavor production vary significantly across flavor suppliers. Although scaling up your flavor system occurs later in the development process, ask your vendor about turnaround times before starting flavor creation. If the company needs months to produce your flavor solution, you’ll have the knowledge to adjust your launch schedule, flavor choice, or supplier.  

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FlavorSum Stand-Out Statistic: Orders for most commercialized flavor systems ship in 15 business days.

Identify Innovation Opportunities

With your no-alc pineapple energy drink ready to launch, your team starts planning the next innovation. Some flavor companies have a consultative approach to food and beverage development and can share trends and insights that spur your creativity. Ask your flavor supplier about the resources available to inspire your team.

MARKET DYNAMICS, SHOPPER TRENDS, AND FLAVOR RECOMMENDATIONS

Essential questions to answer when vetting potential flavor partners include the following:

  • Can the flavor company tell you about the types of products launching in your market?
  • Do they understand how shopper needs are evolving so you can launch on-trend products?
  • Will they talk with your teams about how your brand(s) can respond to changing market and behavioral dynamics?
  • Importantly, does the vendor offer fact-based recommendations about flavors that will connect with your buyers and help build brand loyalty?
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FlavorSum Stand-Out Statistic: Our insights team monitors food and beverage trends using resources like Mintel, Innova, Tastewise, and Nielsen IQ. We also conduct primary research with North Americans to answer specific questions that help you identify opportunities.

Climb to New (and Flavorful Heights) with FlavorSum

It’s time to make flavor sourcing more effective, efficient, and enjoyable so your food or beverage innovations get to market faster and more successfully.

Connect with the FlavorSum team to learn more about how we can address your flavor challenges. We’ve got your back, and when you partner with us, great taste awaits!

Author

Lisa Jackson

Lisa Jackson, Director of Marketing at FlavorSum, brings more than 30 years of market and consumer research experience to support innovation activities for food and beverage organizations.

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