Optimising recipe and process so that we can deliver on the product’s promise.
Before all you chocoholics, and I include myself in this, rush to answer “NO”, let me tell you a story.
There once was a young product developer that was given a new project, to develop an indulgent chocolate bakery product. It had to have all the cues of a premium confectionary product and with the lightness and crispness of a biscuit. This was the brief that led to the launch, many years ago, of probably the first confectionery bar targeting younger women from a big biscuit player in the UK market.
Luckily there was a business in the group at the time, that already made a wafer product that was intensely chocolatey, beautifully crisp in texture and yet melt in the mouth because of a stunning confectionary cream between the delicate wafer layers. This luxurious eat was completed with the bar being covered in chocolate. It sounds too good to be true, ready made innovations, and it was ! The bar was the wrong size, the chocolate and the cream were too bitter and even though we had all the right elements, when put together, the product did not look premium enough for our UK consumer, nor did the taste work for their palate.
There was a lot to be designed and redesigned, but eventually after much recipe work, many trials and consumer tests we were almost there. The taste was great, the size was right, two delicate looking fingers in a golden flow wrap. We just could not get it to look premium enough. Too much chocolate was being blown off the top of the bar as the bar was going through the chocolate enrober, thus exposing the wafer on the surface, even creating holes in the chocolate where the wafer was showing through.
The easy solution would have been to blow less chocolate off. Financially the product could carry a bit more chocolate (This was lucky. Remind me one day to tell you the story of HobNobs as it’s been told to me by its creator), and after all who does not like more chocolate! Problem solved, right ? WRONG !
The extra chocolate totally imbalanced the eat. It detracted from the delicate nature of the wafer and the special melting profile of the cream. The product was no longer delivering on its promise of luxury and light.
The next days and weeks we worked tirelessly on the manufacturing equipment and the flow properties of the chocolate and in the end we managed to get the right amount of chocolate, no more – no less, to sit on the top surface of the bar. RIVA was launched and in its first few years it brought in new consumers, high revenue and profit and grew the chocolate biscuit bar category. A happy ending to the story and very proud young product developer…
More it not always the answer, even if this is chocolate. What is always the answer, is designing a product that delivers on its promise and is true to a brand’s essence.
#productdevelopment #recipeoptimisation #chocolatebars #foodtechnology