Harry had a dream to launch a brand with a simple aim – to make the snack bar category less sweet, better for you and seriously tasty. He had watched the continued growth of cold-pressed fruit and nut bars in recent years, noting that most were packed full of dates and other high-sugar fruits. Equally, he had witnessed the ongoing success of protein bars from consumers looking to increase protein content whilst also reducing sugar content in their snacking choices. Finally, in both of these categories, Harry was often disappointed in the taste and predictability of the products already out there. So, he set to work on seeing if a savoury snack bar could be developed, with the ambition of transforming the category.
The Savourists was born, and an initial round of product development had already taken place when they approached Tastehead, along with early factory trials with their selected co-manufacturer. The concept of the bars was already there, using umami-rich ingredients such as sun-dried tomatoes, olives and nori to bring flavour and balance alongside a variety of seeds and other natural ingredients. However, they were struggling on achieving the desired texture, ambitious nutritional targets and flavour profile that they felt would do the brand justice. Add in challenges on cost and shelf life targets, whilst keeping the products 100% natural, we quickly realised we had our work cut out for us on this one.
Shelf life testing
An initial round of kitchen testing on their previous development recipes identified many opportunities for improvements across the board. The challenge would be achieving all of them together – e.g. as fibre was increased, protein content came down. Therefore, a strategic development plan was implemented to work through each challenge systematically.
Our development team worked closely with our specialist ingredients suppliers, along with The Savourists’ selected co-manufacturer to explore ways in which we could achieve the perfect final texture of the finished bar. Importantly, the result needed to be replicated consistently once scaled up within the production environment. Once we had this base to work with, extensive development work was carried out to hit nutritional, cost and organoleptic targets. A combination of innovative ingredient combinations and processes finally delivered the results that we had set out for. The final challenge was maximising shelf life potential without compromising the results we had achieved in all other areas. We worked closely with the co-manufacturer and our partner laboratory on analytical and microbial testing to achieve the best balance possible.
Everyone was extremely happy with the results, and successful factory trials led to the product being launched into Planet Organic at the beginning of 2020. The guys already have serious interest from a leading major retailer, with plans for further NPD in the pipeline. We’re excited to see them take the category by storm and look forward to working with Harry and the team in the future.
High in protein
High in fibre
“Fantastic company to work with! It took us 2 years of development prior to getting in touch with Tastehead! Once they took the project on, they worked relentlessly to make sure the product was where we needed it to be. Very professional and the knowledge the team have about the industry is second to none. Highly recommend!”
Founders of The Savourists