Consumers expect a certain consistency in quality and taste from the food and beverage brands they love. But many factors can influence the way a product tastes when it reaches the consumer – ranging from the manufacturing process to seasonality of ingredients to storage temperatures. Similarly, a number of other factors may influence the overall quality attributes that matter, such as alcohol content of beer or stability of the whiskey aging process.
Several trends in the food and beverage industry are leading to challenges for manufacturers that can be best addressed with data analytics. With growing digitalization, more companies have access to the kinds of data that can transform their processes to meet the latest consumer demands as well as to shorten time to market, reduce costs, and shrink health and safety risks.
Whether it’s fake olive oil, coffee bulked up with husks and twigs, or honey tainted with antibiotics, food fraud is a growing problem worldwide. The Australian research organization CSIRO states that the economic damage alone from food fraud has reached $35 billion (in US dollars) in 2018. The underlying cause is nearly always financial gain and economic pressures to save money by using inferior (or mislabeled) products. Predictive analytics is one tool manufacturers are using to combat food fraud.