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For our very first webinar, Micah and Brandt cover a wide range of topics relating to food and beverage innovation and product development. It was full of tricks, tips, watch-outs and anecdotes on how to avoid the various pitfalls throughout the innovation and product development process, and maximise your chances of success. Suitable for start-ups, challengers brands and larger businesses.

The main discussions included;

  • Getting projects off to the best start

  • How to approach tasting sessions with more confidence

  • Choosing the best flavours for you new innovations

  • Nailing your development recipes

  • HFSS and healthier product best practices

  • The right balance of claims and USPs

  • Sugar vs sweeteners

  • How to work with co-manufacturers

We also took the opportunity to announce the launch of our podcast! Brand New Taste will be launching later this month on YouTube, Apple Podcasts and other platforms - we hope you become one of our very first listeners!

You can now watch the full replay of the webinar by following the link at the bottom of this page.

In the meantime, here is a short clip where Brandt and Micah discuss choosing the best flavours for your NPD project. There is also a transcription below for those of you who would rather read through the content.



Choosing the best flavours. So, you've decided that you're going to launch a new range of something. It could be for a new brand or an existing brand. How do you choose which flavours to go for?

You've only got to look at most categories and the big sellers; Ice cream is a classic one. When we were developing ice cream - obviously you before me, at Green and Black's, between us we've probably developed 20 ice cream products? But vanilla, how much/what percentage of the sales were from vanilla?


At the time? It was 50% to 60%, by far the biggest.


I suppose in the ice cream category, Vanilla, chocolate, and maybe strawberry is probably 80 or 90% of the sales, and that doesn't really change much over time. So you might hear a lot of buzz about trends and niche flavour combinations and sometimes it might be for the right reason, but try to start with what's got the most breadth. What are people actually going to buy? What would they understand? And then focus on getting it tasting as good as possible, where can you have other USPs around health or other aspects.


Or it might be a twist to the recipe. So it's vanilla with a twist or chocolate with a twist, then people can understand it.


Now, having said that, there are times where there's some surprises. There's a really good example that we've got right here that I have to give you all the credit for.


Thank you. So, I also work at Cawston Press. We brought out Sparkling Rhubarb a few years ago. There were no rhubarbs on the market in sparkling drinks, but it fit the brand, and everyone loves it. It's our biggest selling product, the Sparkling Rhubarb.


And it would have been difficult to find some data that would tell you Rhubarb would be the best selling. But I think, also, there are some pragmatic reasons behind it as well; you basically got as many juice samples as you possibly could into the development kitchen and you were tasting things and figuring out what worked, what didn't work. And this one just happened to taste really good, which isn't, I don't think, immediately obvious to consumers, but it's another example of, ‘if you think something tastes great...', I also think the design of the can is lovely. The colours of the pink and red...


It jumps off the shelf.


So, I think that is the packaging and the branding doing its piece, and then the taste does its piece. No one would have told you Rhubarb would be your best seller, but it is.


One that didn't work so well, even though it's the same sort of thing, i.e. a kitchen garden flavour, nostalgic, etc...was Gooseberry. We launched a Gooseberry a few years back and it didn't really sell. Now, I think I gathered what the reason was and that is, a lot of people don't know what the taste of gooseberry is. Those that did know it, like myself, loved it, but so many people didn't. So you would have thought similar outcome, but a lot of people know what the taste of rhubarb is, so their expectations are fulfilled, whereas gooseberry is a little different. So, that's where it goes a bit too niche, you've got to bear that in mind.

Watch the full video below!

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