- On October 5, 2021
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- ERP, food erp, food one, food technology, plant based manufacturing, plant based meat, plant-based, SAP Business One, Supply Chain, vegan
Stand Out in The Race Toward Plant-Based Meat with ERP Technology
It is no secret that the plant-based meat industry has seen a massive boom over the past couple years. In March 2020, grocery stores sold 231% more plant-based products than a year prior, and IRI data analyzed by The Good Food Institute saw an even larger increase, with sales 454% higher than the previous year during the week of March 21. While COVID-19 accelerated this growth, it shows no signs of stopping! One report projects that the industry will be worth $85 billion by the year 2030. With a greater focus on health and sustainability, consumers (vegetarians and meat-eaters alike) demand more plant-based meat products.
With the rapidly increasing demand for plant-based meat, more and more players are entering the marketplace. Walk into any grocery store, and you will likely see an entire plant-based meat section, with new brands popping up each day. At some point, not every brand will make it on the shelf. Plant-based meat manufacturers need to find creative ways to set themselves apart from the competition and truly ace plant-based. ERP technology can help streamline operations meet growing consumer expectations.
- Supply Chain Transparency
A key contributing factor to plant-based meat’s growth is consumers’ quest for healthier, more sustainable products. 52% of consumers say eating plant-based food made them feel healthier, and 45% believe plant-based products are healthier than ground beef based on the nutrition facts label. Today’s consumer is increasingly health-conscious and more likely to decide which brands they purchase based on nutrition. Furthermore, 83% of customers consider sustainability when making purchases.
Being able to prove to customers that you are using quality, sustainably sourced ingredients in your products sets you apart. Plant-based meat ERP systems allow you to view your entire supply chain, from farm to fork. Complete supply-chain visibility, beginning from raw ingredient sourcing and farming practices all the way through the production and distribution cycle, gives consumers confidence that the foods they are purchasing have been processed safely and fairly.
- Lower Prices (But Higher Profit Margins!)
Currently, the U.S. meat market is worth about $95 billion at retail instead of about $1 billion for plant-based meat. One key factor that makes it difficult for plant-based meat manufacturers to compete with meat products is the stark price difference. Plant-based meat has a reputation for being a great deal more expensive and consumers are likely to prioritize price over sustainability, especially during times of economic hardship.
To achieve price parity and attract more consumers while also increasing profit, plant-based meat manufacturers need to decrease production costs. Plant-based meat ERP helps optimize inventory management and production processes, saving your team time and money. Up-to-date information on what resources you have in store and automated purchase orders allows for smooth and timely production. You can also create new supplier relationships and agreements to save money on raw ingredients.
- Tasty Plant-Based Recipes
The target consumer for most plant-based meat manufacturers is not necessarily someone who does not eat meat, but rather someone who does. After all, vegetarians only make up a small percentage of the population, and to truly win the market, you must appeal to omnivores as well. Creating products that all types of consumers find appealing in terms of quality and taste is paramount. Meat alternatives of the past are being replaced by plant-based products that look, taste, and, in some cases, even bleed like meat! Production data on each of your product recipes and customer data on which products are selling can be found in an integrated ERP system. Having a single-source of truth that is updated in real-time provides plant-based meat manufacturers with valuable insights to determine which products are winning recipes, which should be improved upon.
- Widespread Availability
The more accessible your products are, the easier and more likely it is for consumers to purchase them regularly. For example, Impossible Foods has grown its brand exponentially. In 2019, the formerly foodservice-only product was sold in fewer than 150 stores across the nation. Now, its products are available in over 11,000 grocery stores! Increasing distribution can be a daunting task for midsized food manufacturers.
Integrated ERP technology allows you to maintain and update contracts with distributors and retailers in real-time so that you can have an unlimited number of pricing models and agreements. Logistics planning and order management allow you to optimize your distribution routes, so you get the most bang for your buck when it comes to transportation and storage costs. Furthermore, customer data and demand-planning allow you to see where you have the most opportunity in the market so you can prioritize where you send plant-based meat products.
The plant-based meat industry is rapidly expanding, with no signs of stopping! However, with more and more competitors entering into the marketplace, small and midsize businesses need to find ways to stand out from the competition. ERP technology specifically designed for the food industry can help plant-based meat manufacturers increase supply chain transparency, lower prices, improve recipes, and increase product availability.