Flavor is your competitive advantage.
It is everything.
When you choose a flavor partner, you are placing the customer experience of your product into their hands. Taste is one of the most important foundational drivers of choice for consumers. If your product doesn’t taste delicious on the first try, chances are there won’t be a second try by consumers.
But how do you know if you’re picking the right flavor partner?
How to Evaluate Flavor Companies
Whether you landed on this article because you’re looking to add a flavor supplier to support additional growth or recent KPI reports have you wondering who else is out there, we’ve got you covered. As flavor specialists ourselves, we suggest asking potential flavor partners the following five questions and evaluating their responses to determine which will deliver on your company’s priorities.
5 Questions to Consider When Evaluating Flavor Companies
1. Will Your Company’s Size Impact the Level of Service?
When it comes to working with flavor companies, the reality is that large companies often receive special attention. They often have access to value-added services and dedicated technical resources. Medium-size companies tend to fare better than smaller start-ups, but if you are mismatched to a flavor company, it will often result in an underwhelming experience and less than optimal flavor.
Finding a flavor partner that values your company’s size and the business you have to offer is crucial as it will result in a better experience and product for you.
2. What Are the Flavor Company’s Values and Are They Aligned with Yours?
Every company today outlines a core set of values they claim steers the course of their operations. While you first want to make sure the flavor company truly embodies its values, the second most important thing to consider is whether those values are aligned with your company’s message and vision for the future.
Evaluating what makes the flavor company get out of bed every morning, so to speak, will give you a better idea of what kind of relationship – if any – you can see building with this supplier. Relationships are key to the successful collaboration and innovation that leads to mouth-watering flavor development.
3. Does the Flavor Company Have Long Lead Times?
The third question on our list is to ask whether the potential flavor partner can meet your required lead times. Thanks to Amazon, we live in a world where instant gratification is valued, and our patience for waiting on a delivery grows shorter by the day. Of course, partnering with a flavor company isn’t exactly like ordering from Amazon, but you get my point.
When evaluating a potential flavor partner, ask them about their ability to meet deadlines and what realistic expectations you should have based on the complexity of your flavoring needs.
4. Will the Flavor Profile You Want Be Unique to Your Company?
One of the challenges in the flavor industry is creating a custom flavor that is unique to your company and product. It’s not uncommon for a flavor company to either assign flavor generalists or pull from a library to fulfill your product request because it’s a cost-effective way for them to “meet your needs.”
At Innova Flavors, for example, we specialize in savory and meat flavors. Our specialists know the taste customers crave when it comes to savory products, and we pride ourselves on being a committed and invested partner in every product we flavor. Each product starts with the discovery of the unique flavor profile you are looking for and our specialists work collaboratively with you from ideation to mouth-watering completion.
Once a flavor is created, you will want to ensure the potential flavor partner provides you exclusivity. This will give you peace of mind in knowing that the unique flavor they created for you is yours only and won’t be sold to another company.
5. Can the Flavor Company Meet Your Regulatory Requirements?
Whether your product requires an ultra-clean label, non-GMO, no MSG, organic-compliant, or vegan certified, make sure your flavor supplier is experienced and equipped to assist you with the speed required. At Innova Flavors, for example, we are informed not only on the most up to date regulatory information but also have an expansive raw material supplier network that allows us to quickly identify ingredient replacements needed due to a regulatory label change, which saves you valuable time in the product development process.
Ready to Evaluate a Flavor Company?
While we are ready and able to help today here at Innova Flavors, we recommend evaluating multiple flavor companies before deciding on your flavor supplier. By asking these important questions, you will feel confident you have partnered with a strong player in your product segment.
If you’re looking for a flavor partner that specializes in meat and savory flavors, we would love for you to reach out to us at Innova Flavors!
Schedule a call with us for evaluation because we would love to answer your questions and show you how we can make your product win on flavor!