R&D in Food & Beverage
Research and development (R&D) makes a significant contribution to the food and beverage industry, with new and improved products frequently hitting the shelves.
These include gluten-free foods to improve the choice available for consumers, as well as low-sugar drinks that conform with more stringent regulations. Ethical and environmental factors also play a part in innovation, as manufacturers develop more sustainable packaging and improve processing methods.
Any business involved in the UK’s food and beverage industry may be able to benefit from R&D tax credits if they are overcoming uncertainty and achieving advancement in the field. Eligible costs can include ingredients and other consumables, as well as the wages paid to staff involved in innovative projects.
Examples of eligible activities
- Experiments with lower salt or sugar content
- Development of new food processing techniques
- Design of more sustainable packaging
- Development of recipes with fewer additives
- Creation of gluten-free product variations
- New techniques for wastage reduction
A confectionery company needed to ramp up the production of chocolates to meet consumer demand. After modifying equipment to increase capacity, it found the additional heat generated in the manufacturing process reduced the shelf life of the chocolates.
The firm conducted research to determine the exact point at which the problem occurred and developed an innovative cooling system to offset the effects of the temperature increase.
A tea processing plant decided to experiment with ways to reduce the waste generated during production. A by-product that is too fine to be included in teabags had to be sieved out and treated as waste, reducing the efficiency of the process.
After extensive research, the company found it could add an approved processing aid, which helped convert the particles into a size that allowed them to remain in the teabags.
A microbrewery that started with a small product range wished to expand its offering. The company’s owners had created a new beer using non-traditional ingredients but faced uncertainty in whether it could be effectively produced at scale.
They designed and experimented with a new brewing process, and after several modifications were able to consistently reproduce the unique new product.
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