inewtrition – Food Product Development Company

Glossary of Terms for Food Tech Businesses

Picture of by Dr. Raphaëlle O'Connor

by Dr. Raphaëlle O'Connor

Raphaelle has over 25 years’ experience in the ideation,
development, and commercialisation of food chemistry,
food science, food technology, and nutrition.

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The following is a non-exhaustive list of useful industry terms that may be helpful to owners and teams of food businesses who are just starting out or who would like to keep up to date with certain terms and phrases often used within the food industry. Adaptogens are generally defined as any ingredient that can help the body to better cope with physical or mental stress. Food additive is any substance not normally consumed as a food by itself, intentionally added during the manufacturing of the foods to serve a technological function in the finished product. Codex General Standard define Food additive as being “any substance not normally consumed as a food by itself and not normally used a typical ingredient of the food, whether or not it has nutritive value, the intentional addition of which to food for a technological (including organoleptic) purpose in the manufacture, processing, preparation, treatment, packing, packaging, transport or holding of such food results, or may be reasonably expected to result (directly or indirectly), in it or its by-products becoming a component of or otherwise affecting the characteristics of such foods. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the ability of a computer program or a machine to think and learn. It is also a field of study which tries to make computers “smart”. As machines become increasingly capable, mental facilities once thought to require intelligence are removed from the definition. AI relies on a continual process of technological learning from experience and getting better and better at answering complex questions. With AI, a human gives the system a task, and the computer builds the model. Algorithms powered by AI can rapidly come up with alternative options which are otherwise much more time-consuming and laborious using conventional computer-powered testing. Like the human brain, AI adapts to the environment and gets better the more it is being used. But unlike humans, the capacity for improvement is unlimited. What’s more, boring, repetitive tasks are never a problem with AI. Here are examples of how the food industry is or could be using AI soon: Big data refers to an extremely large data sets that may be analysed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behaviour and interactions. Big data challenges include capturing data, data storage, data analysis, search, sharing, transfer, visualisation, querying, updating, information privacy and data source. Although Big Data is in this way formulated as a problem, it holds in fact an enormous potential in various fields, ranging from health, food security, climate and resource efficiency to energy, intelligent transport systems and smart cities; an opportunity which we cannot afford to miss. With traditional solutions becoming too expensive to scale or adapt to rapidly evolving conditions, companies are scrambling to find affordable technologies that will help them store, process, and query all of their data. Innovative solutions will enable companies to extract maximum value from big data and create differentiated, more personal customer experiences. Here are examples of how the food industry is or could be leveraging big data: Blockchain refers to a way of storing and sharing information across a network of users in an open virtual space. Blockchain technology allows users to look at all transactions simultaneously and in real-time. In food, for example, a retailer would know with whom his supplier has had dealings. Since blockchain is a decentralised, distributed and public digital ledger, the record cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks and the consensus of the network. Consumer mapping. A customer journey map is a diagram or several diagrams that depict the stages customers go through when interacting with a company, from buying products online to accessing customer service on the phone to airing grievances on social media. Consumer intelligence is the process of gathering and analysing information regarding target markets and consumers; their details and activities, to build a deeper and more effective relationships and support better and ultimately more profitable decision-making related to meeting the consumers’ wants and needs. Consumer Intelligence includes the gathering and interpretation of information about target markets and customers. It is the analysis of data gathered across marketing channels to evaluate the success of marketing initiatives and its resonance with consumers. Consumer Intelligence is conducted using quantitative methods focusing on data, statistics, and analytics as well as qualitative methods such as customer surveys and focus groups. Key Areas of Consumer Intelligence ·       Consumer behaviour analysis ·       Customer relationship management (CRM) ·       Consumer demographics, psychographics, and firmographics ·       Market segmentation ·       Market trends analysis ·       Marketing / channel / social media analytics ·       Price vs. value information ·       Supply / demand analysis In the food industry, consumer intelligence solutions could focus on leveraging our shopper marketing cloud of vast data to develop deep shopper insights, segment planning, opportunity sizing and activation strategies that empower companies to “win” the sale and the shopper. Design Thinking is a framework for finding creative solutions to problems. It is a discipline that concentrate on the solution rather than the problem. Designer use techniques and sensibility to match consumer needs with new technologies. The following steps are usually involved:
  • User-centred design process focuses on human values using empathy to create experience.
  • Define & refine scope. Produce an inspiring vision to fuel and amplify ideation with a diverse and cohesive team.
  • Use the tools, ideate and iterate often and test.
Valuable information and guidelines are available to support you on this journey: Digitalisation of food refers to the process of converting information from a physical format into a digital one to improve food business processes. There are different areas where digitalisation of food can have an immediate impact, for example:
  1. With the growth of food retail expected to remain low in the next few years, players that want to expand must consider the potential that digitalisation offers for engaging with customers and opening new revenue streams. E-commerce is a significant growth opportunity for grocery retailers and food manufacturers. However, digitalisation presents new challenges for retailers, as the logistics costs of e-commerce threaten to erode profit margins.
  2. Food production is being digitalised and industry 4.0 is evolving throughout the food chain. Higher manufacturing productivity from digitalisation will come from:
  • Improved competitive capabilities
  • Faster time to market
  • Better planning and forecasting
  • Reduced inventory holding
  • Improved product quality
  • Reduced downtime
  • Shorter setup and changeover times
  • Lower energy consumption
  • Greater financial sustainability
For other valuable information on this topic, please refer to: Flexitarian is a person who has a primarily vegetarian diet but occasionally eats meat or fish. FoodTech is an ecosystem made of all the agri-food entrepreneurs and start-ups (from production to distribution) innovating on the products, distribution, marketing or business model. The objective is to develop impactful solutions to solve global food issues in a commercial, replicable and scalable manner. For more details on this topic, please refer to the link below: Formula Fit Exercises is a desk research exercise whereby projections of finished product results are based on raw material profiles. This activity is helpful to confirm the recovery of active nutrient(s) and/or project the impact of the variability of raw materials in the finished product. Go-to-Market (GTM) strategy is an action plan that specifies how a company will reach customers and achieve competitive advantage. The purpose of a GTM strategy is to provide a blueprint for delivering a product or service to the end customer, considering factors such as pricing and distribution. For more details and example, see section 6 of the link below: Growth hacking is a process or rapid experimentation across marketing channels and product development to identify the most effective, efficient ways to grow a business. Growth hackers are marketers, engineers and product managers that specifically focus on building and engaging the user base of a business. It typically relies on digital marketing, commerce strategies, supporting technologies and new business models. Here is an example of 5 hacks that will enable mobile marketers to up their user retention game for food delivery apps: Industry 4.0. is a framework for addressing the digitalization of complex value chains and the efficient collaboration of businesses, IoT, technology providers and consumers. It extends beyond the digitization of physical assets with the vision of a digitally enabled industrial economy integrating business processes and data across multiple supply chains and value chain participants. Data analytics, IoT and the cloud are platform technologies for the fourth industrial revolution, providing manufacturers with a path to smarter practices. In turn, these smarter processes deliver the necessary intelligence and visibility food manufacturers need to optimize operational efficiency. An overview of the opportunities and challenges ahead is captured in the link below: Inno-mediaries (or Innovation intermediaries) have been defined as an organisation or body that acts an agent or broker in any aspect of the innovation process between two or more parties; acting as a mediator, or go-between, bodies or organisation that are already collaborating; and helping find advice, funding and support for the innovation outcomes of such collaborations by Prandelli et al. (2008) and Sawney et al. (2003). Inno-mediaries help to extend the reach of client organisation (seekers) to a large number of individuals (solvers), thus helping organisations to tap into new and disconnected sources of knowledge. An insight is a deep understanding of the motivation, attitudes, beliefs, feelings and frictions that when activated cause a reaction and behavioural change. Internet of Food (IoF) is an effort to create a digital language and infrastructure for food. At the 2017 Smart Kitchen Summit, Dr. Matthew Lange of UC Berkeley and IC-Foods presented on the beginnings of IoF, describing it as “bring[ing] a common data language and ontology to the world of food and the impact on activities, such as food shopping and cooking.” Despite its name, the Internet of Food is not just about food; it’s about every process and industry related to food, such as the environment, agriculture and health. The idea is to create a language to operationalize all food-related data pertaining to these subjects and impact every industry that may touch the food chain. For additional information on this topic, please click on the link below: Internet of Things (IoT) is defined as the network of devices that gather and convey data via the Internet. IoT is an emerging technology filled with sensors, machine learning, artificial intelligence and analytics. Slowly, but surely, the food industry is getting acquainted with the Internet of Things. With the number of remarkable applications of the Internet of Things the food suppliers, processors, and retailers are experiencing good opportunities for operational as well as financial augmentation in their food businesses. For example, IoT enablement can help food and beverage companies save money, reduce spoilage, improve times to market and increase customer satisfaction. This is further explained in the links below: Intrapreneur is an employee within a company who promotes innovative product development and marketing. Market orientation is the ability to understand and satisfy customers. The ability of the firm to generate, disseminate and utilise effectively qualified information about customers and competitors. The coordination of cross-functional resources for the creation of superior value for customers. Minimum Viable Product (MVP) refers to the minimum set of features necessary to engage early adopters and start the learning-feedback loop. It helps entrepreneurs start the process of learning quickly as possible. When it comes to creating an MVP, it’s about ensuring that you don’t over engineer or under engineer, so you can successfully launch a product. The reason for this is that you need an MVP to find out what parts you should build next, or which parts weren’t necessary all along. A product shouldn’t be fully fleshed out because an MVP helps you to understand your product, audience and requirements better. MVP is not so much a product but more a mindset as described by Lean Startup author Eric Ries who gives a commonly accepted MVP definition, describing “a version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learnings about customers with the least effort.” For more information on MVP, please click on the link below: Nootropics is an umbrella term for a class of chemicals — some naturally-occurring, some manmade — that give cognitive benefits to the human brain. Open Innovation is a fresh take on innovation whereby a firm looks beyond its boundaries to exploit the creative power of users, communities and customers to co-develop new products, services and processes. Pescatarian is a person who does not eat meat but does eat fish. Proof of concept (PoC) is an evidence, typically deriving from an experiment or pilot project, which demonstrates that a design concept, business proposal, etc. is feasible. PoC refers to an implementation of a certain method or idea using specific technologies to assess and demonstrate its feasibility and confirm its practical potential. The objective is to prove the idea and/or technology by exposing a realistic, functional implementation of a subset of functionality. It is usually small, focusing on an aspect of the product, and is typically not complete. Smart manufacturing describes a type of manufacturing where connected machinery and equipment can improve processes through automation and self-optimisation. The benefits also extend beyond the physical efficiencies derived from the production of goods into functions like planning, supply chain logistics and even product development. Because smart factories use technologies such as Big Data Analytics and Internet of Things (IoT), they utilise insights to:
  • optimise productivity and supply chain operations
  • predict trends and quickly adjust to market demands
  • drive innovation and accelerate time to market
  • increase customer satisfaction and loyalty
  • develop new lines of production and add new revenue streams
  • get closer to customers
  • lower costs
It seems that the decision to embed a smart factory strategy into your business plan is not a matter of “if” anymore. It’s a matter of “when”. This video provides an overview of Smart technology can improve efficiency in the food and beverage industry: User-centred design is a problem-solving method that requires you to put your user’s needs first when tackling an issue. It is a framework of processes (not restricted to interfaces or technologies) in which usability goals, user characteristics, environment, tasks and workflow of a product, service or process are given extensive attention at each stage of the design process. To benefit of user-centered design for your creative process, you must know your consumer deeply, empathise with a real problem they face, and come up with solutions they’d embrace. Human-centered design means creating products to solve your consumer’s struggles and help them live better, easier lives. An example of its application in the food and beverage industry is described in the article using the link below: Other words that may be of interest:
  • Machine Learning (ML)
  • User Interface (UI)
  • Design Thinking
  • User EXperience Design (UXD)
  • Lean Start-up If you have any questions on the above or would like to look into any of them for your own business and you think inewtrition could help, send an email to [email protected].

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