This blog was co-authored by John Cooper and Rita Iacoviello.
How Food & Beverage market leaders are streamlining product claims management
Not too many years ago, the food bar category consisted of granola bars and not much else.
Whether in a large grocery store or a mini mart, the granola bar was easily recognizable and minimally packaged. Manufacturers were required to list ingredients and nutrition facts. It was a straightforward product that reflected straightforward consumer expectations.
Today, things are more complicated. The granola bar is one of hundreds of options that define the modern bar category. These bars claim a vast array of targeted health benefits, nutritional facts and sustainability related attributes. Their branding and packaging announce those claims to the consumer, who often brings highly specific expectations to the product.
Like many packaged food and beverage products, the bar is now part of an ongoing conversation between producer and consumer.
Claims are how we cultivate trust
The bar category is just one example of the deepening relationship between products, manufacturers and consumers. It’s also an example of how the Food and Beverage (F&B) industry is focusing on more assertive and complex advertising and product claims.
Many factors have led to the increasing importance of claims, but they all come down to trust.
Claims are the language brands use to communicate with their consumers. They help differentiate a product from its competitors and inform buying decisions. Today’s consumers, armed with clear buying criteria, are very discerning about their choices. Claims provide a guide for navigating a complex landscape of F&B products.
The good news is that more informed communication between brands and consumers creates a more engaged form of trust. On the other hand, managing this increased level of communication is challenging F&B organizations to work in new ways. It requires new approaches and technologies to manage the increasing complexity of claims and consumers’ greater need for transparency.
This challenge offers a potential advantage to the F&B companies that modernize their claims management processes and related documents and data. For them, the path forward is an opportunity. By utilizing new software and services to streamline the claims management process, companies can jump ahead of the competition.
Transparency leads to trust
Claims in F&B tend to focus on three main areas: nutrition, health and sustainability.
Formulation and nutrition claims is an area where consumers are demanding increased transparency. They want to know about the ingredients and the nutritional properties of the products they buy. It is also an area where F&B companies communicate their commitment to positive nutrition and efforts to improve the nutritional profile of products, for example, through reduction of sugar, salt and fat.
Health claims represent another area of differentiation that helps communicate targeted health benefits. For example, products may claim to help manage weight, improve heart health, or aid digestion. Increasingly, consumers are making purchase decisions based on the health benefits of F&B products.
Sustainability claims come in a variety of forms. They might illustrate production methods that use renewable energy sources or certified organic farming techniques. They could indicate the presence of recycled materials in the product’s packaging. They might describe social benefits such as equitable hiring, fair-trade sourcing or philanthropy. [Explore further]
Claims in these three categories are dynamic—often changing based on new regulations, market factors or consumer trends. As organizations explore new ways to assert their claims, they can uncover new opportunities. But there are also new risks. More than ever, F&B organizations need to be able to pivot quickly, adjust and launch new claims at speed.
Modern claims complexity demands a modern solution
Managing claims in F&B has become an increasingly complex process. Multiple stakeholder groups are involved. Information is often kept in legacy, siloed solutions, such as Excel, SharePoint and email. Lack of transparency and a single source of truth leads to confusion and delays time to market. Companies often find the business-critical process of claims management to be a significant challenge.
The solution to this problem is digital transformation. Transitioning to a cloud-based system enables more transparency across the company, more efficient processes and more agility to meet today’s dynamic claims environment.
The beauty of a digital solution is that it’s accessible to everyone who needs it and allows the sharing of institutional knowledge and standardized workflows. Companies that implement a digital solution typically see an array of positive outcomes:
Accelerating the claims process through customized workflows, clarifying roles and responsibilities for individuals as well as teams, and ensuring accountability throughout the process.
Linking directly from claims to the underlying substantiation and also to the marketing and advertising using those claims.
Establishing a single source of truth that’s easily accessible, automatically updated and scalable to meet the needs of growth.
Businesses that undergo digital transformation see benefits almost immediately. Some of the benefits are easy to predict, but others are surprising. By building digital efficiencies into the claims management process—and throughout the business as a whole—F&B companies will often:
Generate greater trust among their consumers through claims that are specific, honest, substantiated and appropriate for local markets.
Accelerate time to market, putting themselves ahead of competitors that might make similar claims.
Save money and free up resources to put towards other pressing issues.
Holistic claims management is what Veeva helps leading F&B companies achieve through our purpose-built cloud software solution. If your company is ready to take a major leap forward in claims—to promise more to consumers, and to deliver on what you promise—then we can help. Let’s work together.
For more information on how Veeva can help your organization with its claims management, reach out to one of our experts.