Are you checking food expiry dates too?

Biopreservatives play a key role in naturally extending shelf life.

In my previous blog on this topic, I identified four reasons why it makes sense for food manufacturers to consider using biopreservatives or anti-oxidants to extend shelf life naturally rather than artificially. I described how extending shelf life can help to reduce food waste, and why consumers prefer natural preservatives. I am now looking at the two other reasons.

Most consumers check expiry dates and label

I admit it! I am one of the many consumers who check food labels and “take the pack from the back of the rack” because it will have a few more days of shelf life! It’s a habit I don’t want to break as I want to be reassured that the food products I am purchasing will retain their optimum flavor, texture and nutritional value when stored at home, and with a shelf life as long as possible.

Looking around my local supermarket, it’s apparent that I am not alone in this habit; many shoppers take the time to do the same. However, I was still surprised to read that according to the Food & Health Survey 20161, at the moment of purchase in a store, more than 70% of consumers check the expiry date. This shows that shelf life is also a key driver of purchasing behavior.

This statistic is backed up by a DSM global insights study, which found that 6 out of 10 consumers in the USA check the label on soft drinks. Heading the list of items checked are calories, type of sweeteners and expiry date. Not far off the top three are the preservatives’ ingredients, which are checked by 4 out of 10 consumers. This highlights why it’s wise for food producers to use natural means to extend shelf life.

Shelf life issues may impact reputation

The risk of potential reputational damage through microbial contamination of a food or beverage is top of mind for many leading brands and is one of  the main reasons for product recalls2. For food and beverage companies, product quality and safety is their main priority and they want to avoid putting their consumers’ health at risk at all times. When a recall happens, despite all product quality efforts, the online and public exposure can negatively impact consumer perception of that brand as well as its market value. This is particularly pertinent these days; most of the world’s population is connected to the Internet, so reputational damage can travel at lightning speed. The significance of reputation is clearly shown in a study by World Economics, which estimated that more than 25 percent of a company’s market value is directly attributable to its reputation3.

Using biopreservatives to extend shelf life is one more step to take to avoid reputational damage. For example, yogurts are consumed more and more on-the-go and manufacturers face a challenge to keep the yogurt snack safe during traveling. Complaints could damage reputation, and biopreservatives such as Delvo®Guard enable dairy manufacturers to preserve yogurt more effectively and for longer – even at ambient temperature – without affecting labeling, taste or appearance.

What's next?

Do you want to know more about our products and solutions to naturally extend shelf life? Visit our specific webpage on natural shelf life solutions where you can discover our broad range of biopreservatives and anti-oxidants. As part of our sustainability commitment, we leverage our in-depth food processing knowledge to create solutions that help cheese, yogurt, baking and beverage manufacturers keep their products fresh for longer, prevent spoilage, reduce food waste, and maintain an unblemished corporate reputation. Or contact me and I will gladly help you find the best biopreservation solution for your specific needs.

1 International Food Information Council Foundation, 2016 Food & Health Survey
3 Simon Cole, “The Impact of Reputation on Market Value” (World Economics, September 2012)

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Published on

20 November 2019