Dalehead Foods are part of Pilgrim's UK and have been supplying sausages exclusively to Waitrose since the 1980s. They wished to test some new recipes, product innovations, and flavour combinations with customers in order to further develop their offering for the supermarket. This particularly included the development of alginate (a gel derived from algae) casings for their sausages.
We recruited 100 taste testers as a representative sample of the Waitrose customer base from our in-house panel. The testers sampled 10 new flavours and formats of sausages, all prepared on-site in our professional development kitchen. The samples were assessed both for cooked and raw appearance, followed by taste, texture, skin feel and overall preference.
Our research informed the direction for new product development. In testing several concepts, Dalehead were able to discount a number of options and instead concentrate their efforts on those that were the most appealing to the consumer according to the feedback provided.