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How to handle a customer request for a percent breakdown of our products ingredients?


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#1 Gracezy

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Posted 02 September 2020 - 10:15 PM

Hi IFSQN Team,

 

We had a request from Customers for breakdowns of our products, etc. They are trying to sell in Europe and Asian Markets.

I know that this information is important to understand of how much ingredients we put in the product but at the same time it is also confidentail information for our company.

 

Can we not providing those formular ( percent breakdown) to the customers and just give them the ingredient lists. 

Are there any document or regualtion to prove for this requirement?

 

 

Thank you in advance.



#2 SQFconsultant

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Posted 02 September 2020 - 10:31 PM

There are certain ingredients in certain percentages that are not allowed or are restricted in some the countries where your products will be going to.

 

I would not provide them with a detailed breakdown of your ingredients for each product, if you do that you are in effect giving them your formulas and they can go ahead and do copies - they would not need you.

 

But, what I think they are doing is they want to scan for those specific things to ensure there are no issues.

 

My suggest and this is what we had two of our clients do - ask them for a listing of the specific ingredients they may be targeting, along with the percentages for limits and run an analysis. And let them know that your company would provide this information, however it would mean sharing your formulas/secrets, etc.   

 

Our two clients with similar issues found this way was fine and acceptable to the customer and they worked together on ensure there were no problems and their products are all flowing.


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#3 Gracezy

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Posted 02 September 2020 - 10:42 PM

There are certain ingredients in certain percentages that are not allowed or are restricted in some the countries where your products will be going to.

 

I would not provide them with a detailed breakdown of your ingredients for each product, if you do that you are in effect giving them your formulas and they can go ahead and do copies - they would not need you.

 

But, what I think they are doing is they want to scan for those specific things to ensure there are no issues.

 

My suggest and this is what we had two of our clients do - ask them for a listing of the specific ingredients they may be targeting, along with the percentages for limits and run an analysis. And let them know that your company would provide this information, however it would mean sharing your formulas/secrets, etc.   

 

Our two clients with similar issues found this way was fine and acceptable to the customer and they worked together on ensure there were no problems and their products are all flowing.

 

 

This is very helpful information. I will look into it. Thank you so much Glenn, I appreciate it.



#4 pHruit

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Posted 03 September 2020 - 07:55 AM

For some products there may be a requirement to declare the exact % of certain ingredients on the pack for the finished product - this is an unavoidable element of regulation here, but whether it applies in your case will depend on the specific circumstances. This is detailed in Article 22 of Regulation (EU) 1169/2011.

 

Are your products finished goods or raw materials? For the latter you've also got the extra challenge of your customers' customers' requirements, which may expand the obligations under the same regulation.

 

Aside from all of that, to an extent this comes down to a decision of how much you want to do business with these people - if this is their own requirement rather than a regulatory one then you can choose to ignore it, but equally they can choose to give their money to someone else instead ;)

Also note that for some of them this may be mandatory information for their customers, so their choice is to have the data or to not be able to sell to some clients.

 

As a possible compromise you may want to discuss the idea of ingredient "banding" with them - it's something I see relatively frequently in the UK. Rather than giving the ingredient list as e.g. 15.9% ingredient A, 2.7% ingredient B etc you'd detail within bands of certain percentages, so you might say e.g. 10-20% ingredient A, 1-5% ingredient B etc instead. That way your exact formulation remains confidential, but your customer gets some information on rough proportions of ingredients.



#5 MDaleDDF

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Posted 03 September 2020 - 11:29 AM

Hi IFSQN Team,

 

We had a request from Customers for breakdowns of our products, etc. They are trying to sell in Europe and Asian Markets.

I know that this information is important to understand of how much ingredients we put in the product but at the same time it is also confidentail information for our company.

 

Can we not providing those formular ( percent breakdown) to the customers and just give them the ingredient lists. 

Are there any document or regualtion to prove for this requirement?

 

 

Thank you in advance.

I often get such requests repeatedly from large scale customers.  So much so that I have no doubt they want the formulations to see if they can duplicate them elsewhere cheaper.  We do not provide percentages, but I will provide 'range formulas', which is exactly what it says, I give a range of each product in the formulation.   For example:   50-70% flour, 15-30% sugar, etc etc.  Anything under 2%, I put "less than 2% of the following'.

That has not failed me yet, and an explanation that the information is confidential suffices.   If we give away the cow, nobody's gonna buy the milk!


Edited by MDaleDDF, 03 September 2020 - 11:30 AM.


#6 olenazh

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Posted 03 September 2020 - 01:43 PM

I do the same as MDaleDDF: provide a percentage range for ingredients without specifying ingredient names, just general information. For instance, sugar (without specifying brown, granulated, cane or else), standardized milk or cream (without MF%), bacterial culture, etc. I like that saying "If we give away the cow, nobody's gonna buy the milk!", definitely should remember it:)



#7 YNA QA

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Posted 03 September 2020 - 01:56 PM

I often get such requests repeatedly from large scale customers.  So much so that I have no doubt they want the formulations to see if they can duplicate them elsewhere cheaper.  We do not provide percentages, but I will provide 'range formulas', which is exactly what it says, I give a range of each product in the formulation.   For example:   50-70% flour, 15-30% sugar, etc etc.  Anything under 2%, I put "less than 2% of the following'.

That has not failed me yet, and an explanation that the information is confidential suffices.   If we give away the cow, nobody's gonna buy the milk!

This is exactly what we do in our facility.  We do wide ranges, and nothing too proprietary.

 

Flavors are just that- we may use 5 different combinations of flavors, but that's not necessary for them to know.



#8 Gracezy

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Posted 03 September 2020 - 03:31 PM

For some products there may be a requirement to declare the exact % of certain ingredients on the pack for the finished product - this is an unavoidable element of regulation here, but whether it applies in your case will depend on the specific circumstances. This is detailed in Article 22 of Regulation (EU) 1169/2011.

 

Are your products finished goods or raw materials? For the latter you've also got the extra challenge of your customers' customers' requirements, which may expand the obligations under the same regulation.

 

Aside from all of that, to an extent this comes down to a decision of how much you want to do business with these people - if this is their own requirement rather than a regulatory one then you can choose to ignore it, but equally they can choose to give their money to someone else instead ;)

Also note that for some of them this may be mandatory information for their customers, so their choice is to have the data or to not be able to sell to some clients.

 

As a possible compromise you may want to discuss the idea of ingredient "banding" with them - it's something I see relatively frequently in the UK. Rather than giving the ingredient list as e.g. 15.9% ingredient A, 2.7% ingredient B etc you'd detail within bands of certain percentages, so you might say e.g. 10-20% ingredient A, 1-5% ingredient B etc instead. That way your exact formulation remains confidential, but your customer gets some information on rough proportions of ingredients.

 

 

I can see the requirement on Article 22 of Regulation (EU) 1169/2011. This is amazing.  Now, I have more Idea on how to talk to our team and customers. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.



#9 Gracezy

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Posted 03 September 2020 - 03:33 PM

I often get such requests repeatedly from large scale customers.  So much so that I have no doubt they want the formulations to see if they can duplicate them elsewhere cheaper.  We do not provide percentages, but I will provide 'range formulas', which is exactly what it says, I give a range of each product in the formulation.   For example:   50-70% flour, 15-30% sugar, etc etc.  Anything under 2%, I put "less than 2% of the following'.

That has not failed me yet, and an explanation that the information is confidential suffices.   If we give away the cow, nobody's gonna buy the milk!

Ahh I see. Yes, I will problably have to that.  Yess!! I love what you say "If we give away the cow, nobody's gonna buy the milk!".

Thank you very much Dale!



#10 Gracezy

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Posted 03 September 2020 - 03:34 PM

I do the same as MDaleDDF: provide a percentage range for ingredients without specifying ingredient names, just general information. For instance, sugar (without specifying brown, granulated, cane or else), standardized milk or cream (without MF%), bacterial culture, etc. I like that saying "If we give away the cow, nobody's gonna buy the milk!", definitely should remember it:)

Thank you so much!!






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