Services for Food and Drink Businesses

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ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre can help food and drink businesses with any aspect of technical support, operations, market analysis, new product development, product evaluation, marketing and trade engagement:

Project HELIX - funded technical and commercial support

Project HELIX provides funded technical and commercial support to eligible Welsh food and drink companies.

HELIX support is flexible and tailored to the individual needs of your business. Companies are able to access ZERO2FIVE's facilities and the expertise of our technical, academic and business support teams.

Project HELIX is a pan-Wales initiative delivered by Food Innovation Wales. For more information about the project, please visit here.  Also, please see our frequently asked questions about Project HELIX support.

Project HELIX is funded through the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

  

Food and Drink Commercial and Marketing Support

The ZERO2FIVE team provides commercial and marketing support to food and drink companies. Our support focuses on:

1. Market analysis and insights 

Helping companies to make more informed new product development, category and export decisions resulting from an improved understanding of the market or country.

Through Welsh Government we have access to a wide range of trend reports and market data from The Food People, Kantar Worldpanel and Global Data. If you are interested in obtaining any of this data from ZERO2FIVE, please complete the enquiry form here.

This support has been developed for companies that are:

  1. Planning to export

  2. Developing new products 

  3. Introducing a category management approach into the business

Each project is different and is likely to include:

  • Category performance
  • Consumer insights
  • Market insights
  • Key channels and trade partners
  • Key competitors
  • Current product ranges
  • Gaps and opportunities
  • Recommendations

2. Marketing strategy 

Helping companies to understand their markets and develop new marketing strategies to grow their businesses. Outputs from a strategy project can include:

  • New product development
  • New trade channels
  • Re-branding
  • Revised promotional plans
  • Export strategy

 3. Practical marketing advice 

Helping companies achieve the most from their marketing budgets and resource. Practical advice can include:

  • Support for re-branding (e.g. branding briefs)
  • Market research - our state of the art Perceptual Experience Lab (PEL) can be used to test different packaging designs in a simulated retail environment. We can also organise and facilitate focus groups.
  • Pricing and promotions
  • Data analysis (e.g.: use of Kantar, Mintel)
  • Trade presentations
  • Social media guidance
  • Consumer touchpoints audit
  • Communications audit

The consultancy team work closely with the rest of the ZERO2FIVE team so that companies benefit from a cross functional approach that can include input from experts in food legislation, nutrition, technical and manufacturing.

Sensory Evaluation

At ZERO2FIVE, we have one of the largest sensory evaluation suites in the UK and the only facility of its type in Wales. 

Sensory Evaluation

How can sensory evaluation help your business?

  • Independent product evaluation
  • New Product Development / matching / improvement - benchmark your products against the competitors.
  • Quality control and maintenance - ensuring product consistency during process change or in product reformulations.
  • Cost reduction - ensuring product quality is maintained when sourcing more cost effective raw materials.
  • To determine the storage stability of your product - evaluating the product quality over shelf-life.

New Product Development

New Product Development (NPD) is crucial for any food business. With increasing demand for variety, diversity and innovation to satisfy upcoming trends, successful NPD can ensure that companies maintain market share and remain competitive. The ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre can help with all aspects of your NPD.

 New Product Development

Below are examples of the NPD support we are able to offer:

Example 1 

A local farm producing eggs approached ZERO2FIVE for advice and support to produce mayonnaise using their own free range eggs. To help this company, ZERO2FIVE conducted market research on mayonnaise to determine gaps and potential in the market, kitchen trials using on-site facilities, chemical analysis and advice on shelf life determination. Benchmarking of the product against competitors on the market was then carried out using the sensory analysis facilities at ZERO2FIVE.

Example 2

A client wanted to start a business producing and selling Welsh cake dough and contacted ZERO2FIVE for guidance on how to make this happen. ZERO2FIVE helped with sourcing ingredients and packaging, legal labelling, recipe reformulation to increase shelf life, followed by sign-posting to UKAS accredited laboratories. The final recipe and cooking instructions were then confirmed by a consumer panel and the product was benchmarked against competitors within the sensory facilities.

Thermal Process Validation

Thermal process validation is essential in the temperature monitoring of many food products.

Validation of the cooking process is critical to ensure the safety of the product over the intended shelf life and helps to control the quality of the product.

ZERO2FIVE can offer the following thermal process validation services:

  • Cooking validation
  • Chilling validation
  • Freezing validation
  • Temperature profiling during product development trials
  • Thermal process troubleshooting
  • Temperature profiling during transportation
  • Process audits
  • Validation of consumer cooking instructions
  • Process efficiency

ZERO2FIVE has experts with experience in all food processing areas, including commercially sterile foods, soups and sauces, baked products, and ready meals.

BRCGS Certification Support

​ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre is able to support all aspects of gaining BRCGS certification.

          

What is BRCGS?
BRCGS is a Food Safety Management System set up by the major retailers. Originating around 1998 to enable suppliers to be audited against a single standard, it has since become global and is used by over 14000 companies in 90 countries and standards cover food packaging and distribution as well as food manufacturing. BRCGS is a Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) benchmarked standard.

BRCGS Technical Support

ZERO2FIVE is experienced in the development and implementation of quality management systems which meet the demands of the BRCGS technical standards, including;

  • Food (including BRCGS Global Markets Programme)

  • Storage and Distribution

  • Packaging and Packaging Materials

  • Agents and Brokers

Members of our technical team have considerable food industry experience, creating and validating safety systems, undertaking system audits, ensuring legal compliance and full system compliance. We have a fully qualified audit team.

ZERO2FIVE has experience in supporting businesses aspiring to reach BRCGS certification, and sites that are already certified to the standard.

BRCGS Pre-audits and Gap Analysis

ZERO2FIVE can support businesses by undertaking a detailed pre-audit or gap analysis against the BRCGS technical standard of their choice. The visit will assess current status, and provide guidance in areas that need to be improved. Sites will be provided with a detailed action plan following the visit which will help sites focus their efforts to fulfil the requirements.

BRCGS Approved Training

ZERO2FIVE host the following BRCGS approved training course:

  • ​BRCGS Internal Auditor (suitable for all standards)

Bespoke Training

ZERO2FIVE can develop and deliver on site training courses to meet the technical demands of retailers and the manufacturing sector.

Please contact us for course dates or for a quotation for a bespoke course.

Benefits of BRCGS Standard

  • Opens the door to many large retailers and food service providers who require BRCGS as a pre-requisite to supply
  • It is a food safety system which helps you to achieve many of your legal requirements
  • It helps in the manufacture of a consistently safe product
  • It allows you to have clear systems laid out so that all staff understand what is required and how to achieve it
  • It should lead to a reduction in customer audits
  • Inspires confidence in existing and potential new customers, enabling the growth of your business

For further information on the BRCGS Standard, please visit the BRCGS Global Standards website:         

https://www.brcgs.com/

SALSA Certification Support

‘SALSA is recognised as the leading food safety certification scheme for the UK’s small food and drink producers. The scheme offers a range of membership packages, information resources and guidance as well as a strong support structure to take the producer through to approval in achievable, affordable steps’. (SALSA, 2018)

SALSA 

ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre is able to support all aspects of gaining SALSA certification.​

SALSA is widely accepted by retail and food service; buyers will typically ask businesses to gain SALSA certification as part of their purchasing arrangements. The standard is a joint venture between three trade associations representing the UK food chain (British Hospitality association, Food and Drink Federation, National Farmers Union) and is administered and operated by the IFST.

SALSA was first published in 2007 and it has recently been updated in September 2018 and is now on its fifth edition. The changes in the standard reflect the developing needs of the food supply chain in the UK. HACCP principles, traceability, incident management and site security have been reinforced through an increased focus on pre requisite controls including personal hygiene, contamination prevention, raw material control and pest control.

For further information on the SALSA Standard, please visit the SALSA website 

Food and Drink Packaging Support

ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre provide a comprehensive range of technical packaging support that includes:

  • Packaging design - structural packaging solutions, technical operational solutions

  • New Product Development - including sensory analysis, focus groups, benchmarking, primary market research, shelf life analysis, legal labelling, costings, cooking instruction validation and life cycle analysis
  • Process development
  • Food law
  • HACCP
  • Technical auditing
  • Quality systems and development - including BRCGS, SALSA, ISO9001, BRC/IOP, SQF
  • Troubleshooting - all aspects of processing and packaging e.g. legal labelling
  • Material sourcing - including primary packaging, MAP, sustainable packaging, retail ready packaging, time temperature indicators, radio-frequency identification
  • Market transition management - technical support for entry of products into new markets i.e. from local farmers' markets into the national retail sector
  • Market research - our Perceptual Experience Lab (PEL) can be used to test packaging designs in a simulated retail environment and we can also organise consumer focus groups
  • Training - operational activities, legal requirements, auditing, BRCGS, packaging technology

Other Areas of Technical Support

We can also offer a range of technical support in the following areas. Please get in touch to discuss how we can help your company:   

  • Factory design
  • Waste reduction / review

  • Process improvements

  • Food safety culture

  • Crisis management – product recall

  • HACCP review

  • HACCP validation

  • Nutritional calculation

  • Quality management system review

  • Food legislation interpretation

  • Allergen management

  • Product reformulation/ re-engineering

  • Microbiological product safety: support with shelf-life determination and interpretation of laboratory results

  • Listeria management

  • Access to facilities and equipment

For more information

Email: ZERO2FIVE@CardiffMet.ac.uk​​

Telephone: 02920 416306