Manufacturing, labeling, and shipping food products: Important Factors to Consider

Whether an entrepreneur starting a food-based business or an established company looking to streamline their operations, mastering the art of efficient manufacturing, labeling, and shipping food products can be challenging, it is, however, essential for showcasing and informing about your products to customers. 

The demand for packaged and ready-to-eat food items has increased immensely. With growing food businesses in competition, quality is everything. Proper processes need to be set up to ensure the safety of food items. Each process stage can affect the end product's quality.

This blog will help you learn more about each step of the food business. It will highlight strategies to help you overcome the difficulties you may encounter. Let's talk about each stage in depth. 

  1. Manufacturing process

Food manufacturing is about turning raw materials into finished products and making them suitable for human consumption. The end-to-end process includes sourcing raw materials, processing them, packaging them properly, and distributing them to customers. Each food item needs a unique manufacturing strategy to achieve the best quality. 

Here are some key points to consider.

  • Sourcing high-quality material
  • Raw materials lay the foundation for the end product's quality, shelf life, and taste. Grains, fruits and vegetables, meat, poultry, and seafood are generally used as raw materials to manufacture packaged food items. These raw materials' quality plays a large role in the final product's taste, texture, and nutritional value. The freshness of raw material is an important factor affecting the end product's color, flavor, and texture.

  • Machinery and equipment for manufacturing food products
  • Using top-quality machinery and equipment for preparing and processing food items is important. It will ensure the final product's quality, hygiene, and consistency. While investing in machinery, it is important to remember that it should align with industry standards, fit your production scale, and be efficient as well.

  • Proper cleaning and sanitization practices
  • Implementing proper cleaning and sanitization practices is equally important to ensure customer satisfaction.

    • Proper cleaning practices restrict the growth and spread of harmful bacteria and other microorganisms, preventing the spread of foodborne illnesses.
    • Maintaining a clean working environment can help prevent contamination of food products, equipment, and surfaces by allergens, chemicals, and foreign objects.
    • The food products' shelf life and quality will improve, reducing the waste of items.

  • State and local regulatory compliance
  • Food manufacturers must know their state's food safety regulations. They must obtain the required certifications as it ensures consumer safety and builds trust in your brand. Manufacturers will receive technical assistance from local and county health department agencies, educate consumers about food safety, and inspect their food establishments. The regulatory authority has set some requirements for home-based food businesses to ensure they meet safety standards, are accurately labeled, and maintain quality.

    1. Labeling process

    After your food item is manufactured, the next step is to package them efficiently. The next step is to label the packaging. It is the first thing that catches a customer's eye and can directly impact sales and profits. If you are a food product supplier to restaurants or supermarkets, your product must be labeled appropriately. 

    Here's why labeling properly is crucial.

    • Provides vital information

    Food packaging labels convey the required information to end consumers and help them make informed decisions about what they are buying. Labeling offers detailed information regarding the products' price, usage, quantity, quality, ingredients, and cooking steps (if any).

    • Boosts branding efforts

    Labeling your product aids in marketing and branding efforts. It displays the brand logo and message that can resonate with the customer and lead them to buy the product. Effective labeling plays a vital role in the business's overall marketing strategy.

    • Upgrades the appearance of the product.

    A legible and well-designed label improves the overall appearance and appeal of the product. A well-designed label acts as a visual representation of the brand's identity and quality. Its colors and presentation are powerful tools to attract attention, communicating unique product features in the eyes of potential customers.

    • Reduces food waste

    Food labels contain product expiry dates that stop the premature discarding of produce and reduce food waste. People depend on the labels on food packaging for guidance before buying to judge whether food is safe to eat.

    Keynotes during the labeling process

    1. Manufacturers must stay informed about the food product labeling regulations specific to their region. The ingredient list, nutritional information, allergen warnings, and contact details must be provided. The labels must include details about the manufacturer, like the registered name and address.
    2. Information related to allergen details must be clearly labeled. Third-party verification may be required for claims such as "organic" and "gluten-free" food items. In the case of emphasizing a certain ingredient on the product's packaging, it is essential to specify the quantity of this ingredient. It must be mentioned as a percentage in the ingredient list.
    3. Any instructions for use, if needed, must be specified clearly to make it easy for the end consumer. 
    4. 'Use by' or 'best before' dates need to be mentioned. It will help customers safely store the food or discard it as required. 

    1. Shipment process

    After the product is labeled properly, it is time to deliver the item to the customer within the specified time. It is another critical part of the food supply chain, as you would always want your customers to get excited when your package arrives. 

    Proper shipment practices can help reduce contamination risk, spoilage, and other issues that can affect the safety and quality of food products. The shipment of food products can be challenging as food products are perishable. Although most of the food is perishable, how fast it will perish depends on the type of food and how it is packed. Manufacturers must ensure that perishable products get shipped effectively and stay safe for long hours.

    If the food gets spoiled during delivery or shipment, it will affect your brand image. Therefore, if you are in the food industry and looking to sell your products away from your local areas, you must know the best shipping practices. 

    Here are some key points that need to be considered while planning for shipping the food products.

  • Understand the effect of temperature on perishable products.
  • Certain items are sensitive to temperature variations, mainly products that must be stored in refrigerators. They often need a temperature-controlled environment during shipping to maintain their quality during transportation. Items like fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, and ice cream are prone to deterioration over time. Lack of proper cooling can affect their taste, texture, and nutritional value, especially when exposed to harsh environmental conditions, making them susceptible to spoilage, contamination, and damage during handling and transportation. 

  • Select the right packaging. 
  • Perishable items are stored in a packaging unit that can control the temperature during shipping. It is important to understand that heat can still transfer between the container walls and the packaging. It is better to add insulation as added protection. It will be an effective barrier against temperature fluctuations, helping create a stable environment within the packaging. It is important to be careful when selecting the packaging, and shippers can minimize the impact of external temperature variations. Beast Branding offers food-grade mylar bags, glass jars, and paper bags that can be used for food packaging or storage. 

  • Delivery of food products on time
  • Manufacturers of food products must fulfill the strict delivery dates set by their customers. Delivery on time is important in the case of shipping food products. Delays can directly impact the quality and safety of perishable items. Also, the brand can lose its profit and ruin buyer relationships. Setting up a smooth logistics process, choosing reliable carriers, and optimizing shipping routes are important to ensure timely delivery. Real-time tracking systems and informing consumers about the delivery time beforehand are advisable measures. 

  • Be aware of the regulatory requirements.
  • Regulatory requirements are important in promoting safety and sustainability in food manufacturing. The governments have set certain regulations and policies to ensure food product safety during shipment. Failure to abide by these regulations will lead to fines and legal action, damaging a company's reputation and profitability.

    Other than these, some other points need to be kept in mind while planning for the shipping process.

    Key points related to the shipment of food products effectively.

    • Trailers must always be clear of debris and odors before loading food items. Shipping goods could get ruined if contaminants are present in the packaging. Instructions must be properly conveyed to all the involved parties.
    • Overhandling food packages is another real concern for shippers of snack products and bulk ingredients that can ruin the product. Bags and totes are fragile and can get ripped when being moved. The more times a product is loaded and unloaded, the more chances that bags and totes can get ripped off. Choosing a transport mode requiring fewer transfer points can help reduce risk.
    • Shipping requires specialized equipment and vehicles to maintain the required temperature and humidity levels during transportation.
    • Long-distance shipping in food transportation increases the risk of spoilage and contamination during transit. Food shipping requires proper planning, monitoring, and record-keeping to ensure compliance with food safety regulations. 

    Ending Note

    Mastering food products' manufacturing, labeling, and shipping processes requires attention to detail, extensive planning, compliance with regulations, and a commitment to quality.

    Beast Branding offers diverse packaging options and custom labels for different products. You can choose the style, size, and shape of labels and get them printed with us, and we can apply them for you, too. Check out our entire collection today! 

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