OWS Foods

Overhauling quality and innovation from small batch to big business.

When the pandemic hit, OWS Foods experienced tremendous organic growth. Between the increase of people cooking at home (with a little help from their manufactured spices and sauces) and the enduring love for American barbecue, they were uniquely positioned for success.

Since then, their expansion has only accelerated through strategic acquisitions, partnerships, and the implementation of TraceGains. See how our solutions enable their teams to operate more efficiently and plan for continued progress in the coming years.

OWS factory worker bottling sauce.

OWS Foods company snapshot

What started in 1988 as a small-batch spice blend company under the name Old World Spices and Seasons has become OWS Foods, a leading food development, blending, manufacturing, co-packing, and distribution company.

Today, they continue to create a variety of products as a spice, dry-seasoning, and sauce manufacturer. But what really sets OWS apart is their world-class Research and Development team, complete with experienced food scientist and flavor experts, that helps other food and beverage companies custom manufacture culinary innovation.

The processes and the things that we did when we were a much smaller company just don’t translate when you’re a much larger organization.

—Russ Meinhardt, Chief Technical Officer

Improving quality without redundancy

As OWS acquired new brands and locations, initial risk and gap assessments revealed some serious deficiencies in the existing quality departments—or lack thereof. The ERP systems already in place had elements of document control, but their complexity left a lot to be desired.

Making the switch to TraceGains Supplier Management allowed them to spend less time on paperwork. After the initial investment, the entire OWS team has realized the benefits of going digital, from greater efficiency and visibility to easy trend analyses. Hear more about what life was like at the company before and after implementation.

We shaved off three minutes of generating one sample. Saving three minutes for each task, for each item that you input—that’s a lot of time and it builds up pretty quick. That’s an hour and twenty minutes that we’ve gotten back of our time to be more effective, and to get through our workday.

—Mariquious Jackson, Quality Manager

Streamlining innovation across teams

At OWS Foods, R&D remains a pivotal part of their roadmap. So, implementing solutions that allow their innovation team to be effective and collaborate better with the rest of the organization is essential.

Going digital was the first transformative step for an operation that largely relied on notebooks. This pen-and-paper approach quickly became problematic when employees were absent or asked to pick up projects from other colleagues, essentially forcing them to retrace another’s modifications, formula variations, etc.  

But the shift had the added benefit of accelerating their procurement process—thanks to the world’s first and largest Networked Ingredients Marketplace—as they saved time searching for unique items.

When combined with the competitive functionality of TraceGains Formula Management, the R&D team quickly began to iterate in real time, boosting creativity and getting more products out the door. Not only for OWS brands, but also for their industry partners.

We were looking for not a place to store our formulas, but a place to actually do product development. And we looked at several other product development software [options], and we settled on TraceGains because of cost and functionality.

—Gary Murphy, Director of Food Quality & Safety

Real results for food and beverage teams

 Since most of us in the industry are driven by numbers, we’ll break down the benefits OWS Foods has realized since incorporating TraceGains solutions for quality and innovation.


of suppliers are engaged with TraceGains, leading to same-day approvals and procurement


time savings for R&D, allowing OWS to get more products out the door


efficiency increase for R&D tests on the plant floor, expediting time-to-market

Ready to see more?

We can show you how our networked solutions tighten compliance and help you grow.

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