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The Impact of the Internet on Food Quality




In recent months, we've seen food producers increase their focus on analyzing food products for quality from a much broader perspective. This is no longer solely focused on incoming inspections to ensure raw materials and ingredients meet standards. It's about the entire production cycle—from sourcing quality raw materials and ingredients to monitoring semi-processed and final products. Food scientists are becoming more involved in traditional quality systems to quantify the entire process, connect all the dots, and produce competitive, attractive products that delight consumers.

 

Customer experience with taste, aroma, texture, appearance, and even the sounds foods make is crucial, especially as online customer reviews grow more influential. According to the USDA and Gallup, 20% of grocery shopping occurs online. A 2024 market research study by Drive Research suggests online grocery delivery has increased by a staggering 56% compared to the previous three years. Online buyers heavily rely on reviews, with more reviews and higher star ratings making purchase decisions easier. A product with 3 or 5 stars and a few or thousands of reviews leveraged by the "wisdom of the crowd" becomes a winner or loser.

 

Food companies must adapt new quality programs to account for the outsized impact of online reviews and customer experiences on sales. This is particularly important in the digital age. Thoroughly analyzing products throughout their lifecycle, including raw materials, ingredients, final product, color, shape, size, and texture, is crucial for delivering fantastic consumer experiences.

 

ron.hadar@vibeia.com June 6th 2024

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