Specialist R&D Tax & Grant Funding Advisors

What Is R&D In The Food And Beverage Industry?

Are you looking to create a product that stands out in the food and beverage industry? Innovation is key, which means focusing on research and development (R&D). Food and beverage R&D can involve discovering new ingredients, finding ways to package existing products more efficiently, or developing entirely new products.

Barrie Dowsett

Chief Executive Officer

25/01/2023

7 minute read


As an innovator in this space, it pays to keep up with the latest trends and technology when it comes to R&D within the food and beverage sector — but what exactly does that entail?

In this blog post we cover everything you need to know about R&D in the food industry. From regulatory considerations for labeling to best strategies for efficient production processes, our comprehensive guide will help ensure your efforts are met with success.

The definition of R&D and its purpose

Research and development (R&D) is essential to the success of the food and beverage industry, allowing companies to stay competitive in an ever-changing market.

It helps them stay ahead of their competitors by continuing to develop new products that meet the changing needs of their customers, while also improving existing processes. R&D can encompass a wide variety of activities such as developing packaging solutions that reduce waste, discovering new ingredients or flavors, creating healthier options for consumers, or even finding ways to improve production efficiency. All these activities help make sure food and beverage companies remain at the top of their game.

In addition to product innovation, R&D can also play a key role in streamlining processes, reducing costs and increasing profitability. This could include anything from automating back-of-house operations to implementing predictive analytics systems for better inventory management. By having access to data-driven insights with the help of R&D initiatives, companies can adjust their operations quickly and efficiently for maximum performance.

Finally, research and development is also important for keeping up with regulations when it comes to labeling requirements as well as food safety regulations like HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point). By staying proactive in this area, companies can ensure compliance throughout every step in their operations so they can continue serving customers with confidence.

Overall, R&D plays an integral role in helping food and beverage companies achieve success by giving them the tools they need to stay competitive and keep up with changing market demands while also addressing regulatory requirements. With the right investments into research and development initiatives, companies can rest assured that they will remain on top despite ever changing trends in their industry.

How R&D is used in the food and beverage industry

Research and development activities in the food and drinks industry are incredibly varied. Companies may conduct research into product formulations, nutritional content, packaging and labeling designs, production processes, and more. Through the process of R&D, businesses can develop new products or improve existing ones that appeal to customer preferences.

The formulation of a food product involves selecting ingredients, analyzing their properties, and determining how they will interact with other components. Nutraceuticals such as vitamins or probiotics can be incorporated into foods to enhance their health benefits. Packaging also plays an important role in product formulation by providing protection from contamination, keeping ingredients fresh and preventing spoilage. Labels must adhere to regulatory requirements when it comes to displaying nutritional information or allergens present in the product.

In addition to product formulation activities, R&D departments in food companies may also focus on creating efficient production processes that meet quality control standards while reducing costs. These activities involve researching new equipment that increases safety standards while minimising labor costs and minimising waste throughout the production line. Companies may also explore automation solutions that reduce manual errors and increase efficiency along the way.

Finally, research teams may conduct market studies of consumers’ preferences in order to better understand needs and wants of target audiences as well as potential competitors when formulating new products or improving existing ones.

In summary, here are a few ways R&D can occur in the Food and beverage industry:

  • Developing new ingredients or formulas
  • Creating a new flavour or product range
  • Improving the food or drink’s nutritional content, taste or texture
  • Developing new samples or prototypes
  • Devising ways to cut costs without reducing product quality
  • Creating healthier product lines, i.e products with less fat or sugar
  • Coming up with ways to more sustainably package and transport a product
  • Devising ways to lengthen a product’s shelf life
  • Developing better ways to minimise contamination
  • Coming up with innovative ways to deal with scrap, spoilage and waste

The future of R&D in the food and beverage industry

The future of R&D in the food and beverage industry looks to be one of innovation, sustainability, and efficiency. As the need for healthier, more nutritious foods and beverages continues to grow, so too will the emphasis on research and development to create products that meet those needs.

Companies are already investing heavily in new technologies such as gene editing and big data analysis to gain a competitive edge. These efforts can help them better cater to health-conscious consumers while remaining profitable. At the same time, they may also be making use of sustainable practices like regenerative agriculture and regenerative packaging in order to reduce their environmental impact.

With increased digitalisation of processes, businesses are able to track production from seed-to-plate, ensuring that their customers get only the best quality product at all times.

Finally, companies are researching ways to make their production processes more efficient by introducing automation or using AI-driven solutions for predictive maintenance. All these advancements in R&D point towards a future where food and beverage companies will continue to deliver superior products with fewer resources than ever before.

Does your food industry business qualify for R&D Tax Credits?

Despite the large amount of innovative R&D that takes place across Ireland’s food and beverage industry, many companies are still not claiming the financial assistance they’re entitled to in funding it. This is where R&D Tax Credits comes in.

This sector really lends itself to R&D Tax Credits because if there’s one thing it does a lot of it’s developing new products. Companies also spend large amounts of money on extending their product lines, improving existing products and streamlining their processes. Additionally, there’s also R&D expenses to meet that includes staff salaries, packaging, marketing, transport, ingredients costs and other overheads. Fortunately, R&D Tax Credits can help to offset many of these costs, and it’s a generous scheme too.

Find out more about R&D Tax Credits, including eligibility and how to apply, by looking at our R&D Tax Credits page.

Why are so many food and drink companies missing out?

Many in the food and beverage industry fail to claim R&D Tax Credits because they don’t know they’re eligible, or even that the scheme exists. Some believe their new recipe or flavour is simply day-to-day business and don’t class it as innovation. Others are worried about making an incorrect claim and getting into hot water with Revenue. This is a huge shame, and a massive missed opportunity.

How Myriad Associates will work with you

Claiming R&D Tax Credits isn’t easy and there are many grey areas. But our team of R&D tax advisors and specialists can work alongside you in constructing a high quality, accurate claim that stands up to Revenue interrogation.

As long as a technological or scientific uncertainty is being addressed in the course of your project, which involves taking a financial risk, then R&D Tax Credits are likely to follow. Firstly, we can help you identify all the costs which are relevant, and to apportion them correctly. We can then put together a detailed, competent technical narrative, and work on your behalf with Revenue too.

Why not have a look at our R&D Tax Credits page for more information about how this highly valuable tax incentive could benefit your food and beverage company. Then when you’re ready to make a claim, simply drop us a message or call +353 1 566 2001 to get the process started.

You could well end up many thousands of euros better off.


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