Developing A Branded Deli Meat Line
Sensory science case study
A large retail customer looked to enter the high-end deli meat segment and challenged Cargill to create a new branded deli meat program. Cargill’s sensory science capabilities proved valuable in two aspects of the project: developing the new product line and ensuring product consistency across suppliers.
In developing the new product line, we used our sensory paneling capabilities to determine, first, if the products we created were as good as or better than the retailer’s current store offering. Then, we used sensory descriptive analysis techniques to adjust the formula to match the taste, texture and other sensory attributes of competing gold-standard products. Finally, a new brand name was developed and assigned to the line.
Once the new brand proved successful in several regions, the retailer decided to expand distribution nationally. Adhering to a company requirement that two suppliers be enlisted to handle nationwide product distribution, the retailer selected a second supplier to work alongside Cargill. As is always the case when more than one supplier is involved and brand image is at stake, the challenge was to ensure that products made by each of the suppliers matched in taste, texture and other sensory attributes. To address this concern, Cargill’s sensory experts worked with the other supplier, providing sensory analysis support to ensure sameness.
The retailer now features a successful high-end line of eight deli meats in meat cases across the country. Its two-supplier requirement is met – and consistent quality, regardless of which supplier produced the products, is ensured.