As consumers continue to be more mindful of their health and wellness by seeking better-for-you options, clean label is becoming increasingly important to food manufacturers. While the FDA hasn’t offered a concrete definition or regulatory restrictions of clean label, it can simply be described as fewer and simpler ingredients.
Food processors are turning to flavor companies to help tidy up their labels and customize flavoring to meet their unique needs, which in this case are natural flavors. So, what should you know about choosing a natural flavors company to partner with?
How to Choose a Natural Flavors Company to Become Your Partner
First, let’s address the “best” natural flavors company. Best is subjective to each customer because the most important factor is whether your flavor partner meets your needs, which in this case is their ability to source ingredients, formulate, and produce natural flavors.
As flavor specialists here at Innova Flavors, we offer natural flavors to meet our customers’ needs because we know that flavor is your competitive advantage. For more about choosing the right flavor partner, visit our recent blog on Evaluating Flavor Companies: How to Get the Right Flavor Partner.
What is Natural Flavor?
Natural flavor as a concept can be complicated and very technical because there are regulations, each customer can have a different perspective of it, and the definition of natural flavor changes from country to country. In the United States, the FDA defines natural flavor as “a substance extracted, distilled, or similarly derived from plant or animal matter, either as is or after it has been roasted, heated, or fermented, and whose function is for flavor not nutrition.”
Supply Chain Transparency
Buying flavor should not be viewed as a one-off transaction but rather a long-term partnership built on trust. Documentation and supply chain transparency will help you develop a trusting relationship with your natural flavor company. Regulatory documentation gives you a window into whether a flavor is natural, which we provide to our customers when they ask for samples. Our documentation includes an ingredient statement that will note any artificial ingredients included in the flavor.
Flavor companies should also provide information to the customer on where products are sourced so you have visibility into the supply chain. There are some countries our customers don’t want products sourced from, so by being transparent at Innova Flavors, for example, we can assure our customers that our supply is secure and sustainable.
While some information is proprietary, gaining access to this documentation can help you build trust and confidence in your flavor company’s supply chain. At Innova Flavors, we pride ourselves on building relationships with our customers so they can rest assured we are meeting their needs and regulatory requirements.
Here are Innova Flavors, we are the experts in meat and savory flavors, including vegan and vegetarian, and want to help you through the flavor journey. Schedule a call with us to learn how natural flavors can be customized to your unique situation or to explore how we can help guide you to deliver a mouth-watering flavor experience for your customers.