How To Decide Which Bulk Oil Ingredients (That's Plural!) You Will Use

Posted by Hannah Broaddus

How To Decide Which Bulk Oil Ingredients (That's Plural!) You Will UseAs a follow up from yesterday's blog, Why It's Ideal To List Multiple Potential Bulk Oil Ingredients, today we'll be discussing how to go about the process of qualifying multiple ingredient for your label.

In review, some brands often list multiple ingredients with an "and/or" stipulation. For example, our chips may be made with Canola Oil, Sunflower Oil, and/or Safflower Oil.  The consumer doesn't get to know exactly what they're eating in that particular bag, but they know it will have been made with at least one of those 3 ingredients.  

This decision to list more than one commodity bulk oil ingredient is a strategic business choice.  It helps protect the company in times of commodity market crisis, where one ingredient may be high priced, or even worse, completely unavailable.

Want to do this for your product?  We'll walk you through the steps.

How To Go About The Process of Qualifying & Labeling Multiple Ingredients

If you'd like to list a couple potential ingredients on your label and help build a "commodity market buffer" for your company in the process, follow these steps.  Well walk you through how to plan, approve and prepare for using multiple potential ingredients:

Step 1:  Narrow in on specific ingredients that are interchangeable.  

Ask your oil supplier which oils are similar, and what other companies like yours are using as interchangable oils in their own products.  Good examples of these interchangable commodity oils are:

Sunflower Oil ⇔ Safflower Oil
Canola Oil ⇔ Soybean Oil
Organic Sunflower Oil ⇔ Organic Safflower Oil
Non-GMO Canola Oil ⇔ Sunflower Oil ⇔ Safflower Oil
Grapeseed Oil ⇔ Canola Oil

Step 2: Get samples of each oil approved by R&D / QA

Once you choose the oils that you would potentially like to use, request samples and have R&D or your QA department go through the approval process for each ingredient.  

It's important that QA does this step before you go too much further.  If your product has strict taste profile requirements for your bulk oil ingredient, it's important to rule out any potential options at this point.

Step 3: Get relative pricing for each

Ask for pricing for each of your potential bulk oil ingredient options that QA has approved.  Get an idea of where the market is now, and how they compare to each other.

Go further than that though.  Sit down with your supplier and talk to them about how the market acts not just now, but in patterns over time.  Are the commodity markets of two different oils intertwined?  Is one dependent on the other?  This is all important information to know, and you won't understand it through simple numbers on a page.

Step 4: Get input from marketing

Get input from your marketing department before making your final selections.  They will help you determine if there are particular selections that your target market will enjoy, and warn you if there's choices that you'll want to stay away from.  They've done the market research to help weigh in on this strategic business decision-- utilize them.

Step 5: Run bids or price quotes on all of the options every time

Each time you re-up contract or you buy on the spot market, request a quote on each of the potential oils.  That way, you can continually track the commodity market and always choose the cheapest option available at the time.

Topics: Food Manufacturing, Comparing Oils, Quality Control



Related Articles

Download the Manufacturing eBook

Enter your email below to get commodity market updates & cost-saving tips for procurement professionals.






Buy & Ship Direct From Our Online Store

Select an item below to see live pricing (LTL quotes included at checkout).



Now you can order direct from our website, without ever talking to a salesperson.  We've created this new industry-leading online storefront which makes the bulk oil buying process so much easier!

  • See live price quotes for oils online
  • Shipping costs are auto-calculated at checkout
  • Buy single drums, partial pallets or full pallets
  • Pay with a credit card
  • Ships from Centra Foods within 1-3 business days