The Hog House Pinchos
Powerful bites of protein with a huge flavour hit!
Mentoring to develop a new product for a Global Contract Caterer to overcome restrictions with their HACCP plan.
One of the largest, established contract catering companies in the UK had secured a contract to provide contract catering a major UK airport. Their HACCP did not allow staff to scratch cook and prohibited the use of frying pans. They wanted to offer clientele a cooked product and approached us with the brief of creating a new product that could be reheated but would taste fresh. Substantial product development was required and there were still plenty of challenges. They included the designing of the product, the setting up and handling of pre-cooked products new to this arm of the business, and marketing to be exploited on a very tight time scale.
They come in a range of 5 mild to wild, mouth watering flavours and are tasty, colourful and exciting.
We worked with the Head Chef to develop a new breakfast product over 4 key areas
1. Product Development Strategy
2. Stage 2 Product Design & Process development
3. Stage 3 Commercialisation
4. Stage 4 Product Launch and Post Launch evaluation
Major innovative issues arose in formulation, including product characterisation and scaling up from batches of a few kilos at the laboratory stage, through about 250 kilos in the pilot plant to the thousands of kilos in the batches in the production plant. Maintenance of the chosen desired flavour balance from the initial concept recipes to plant formulation involved much careful experimentation in aspects of texture and behaviour of starches and thickeners.
Intensive action commenced on preparing the commercial products. The product had to be formulated and set up to give a full product specification for production.
The project included working with head development chefs at the Contract Caterer’s Head Office, product management, product technology and packaging technology. This work had all to be coordinated and combined, drawing on the full knowledge of the staff with appropriate expertise. Cooperation over a wide range of people and skills contributed very substantially both to the successful outcome and to the speed with which it was reached.
Product factory trials were conducted. Innovation was needed to move from a substantially manual process to a much more automated one. There was extensive testing of the factory product, with the necessary adjustment of ingredients to reach the texture, appearance and flavours desired for the product. Quality assessment and statistical process control procedures were put in place accommodate the special features of the new product including the particle sizes within the food.
Finished product assessment was undertaken and the final product agreed upon.
A gap in the market was correctly identified, and filled, by the product and sales of 33,000 SKUs a week resulted for the Contract caterer.