Cardiff-based Jack and Amelie make an exciting range of frozen meals for kids. The company packs their dishes with herbs, spices and colourful vegetables, helping parents who are looking for better choices at busy mealtimes. Their dishes are made in small batches and are frozen to lock in the nutrients.
In response to a call from ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre looking for companies to work with on product reformulation, Jack and Amelie briefed the Centre to undertake recipe re-development on four of their products. The re-development request was to support the expansion of their range of plant-based meals for kids aged between 3 and 8 years old. Jack and Amelie wanted to improve the nutritional content of two existing plant-based products as well as redevelop two other products to remove the meat element.
The brief was to ensure the products were nutritionally balanced and age appropriate. Although plant-based, the range needed to appeal to a flexitarian consumer looking to reduce their meat intake and eat more vegetables. The products also had to be colourful, full of flavour and the vegetables needed to look appealing rather than hidden.
Support from ZERO2FIVE
Initially, as part of the New Product Development stage gate process, ZERO2FIVE carried out a market review of frozen plant-based meals, looking at market dynamics, competitor products, and consumer and flavour trends. Through Food and Drink Wales, ZERO2FIVE accessed reports and data from Kantar Worldpanel and The Food People. This information was used as the basis for an ideation session with the company to discuss potential market opportunities and product ideas.
As a result of COVID-19, ZERO2FIVE carried out remote recipe development. Although the client wasn’t able to attend development sessions as per normal, regular contact was kept to discuss project progress. Samples were available for the client to collect and try at home following each recipe development session and virtual meetings were arranged to discuss feedback and agree next steps. Development continued until the technologists and clients were happy with the samples and a virtual taste panel was arranged to agree on the final products.
Benefits of the support
Through a collaborative development process, the company successfully developed a range of four plant-based products with an improved nutritional profile that also taste delicious and appeal to children. The flavour profile and nutritional content of their existing 3 Bean and Vegetable Chilli and Vegetable Thai Curry was enhanced; their Turkey Ragu was reformulated to become a Vegetable & Lentil Ragu; and a new Vegetable Tagine was developed from scratch.
The company are now using the final product samples and recipes to decide the best route to market. They plan to launch the reformulated products in Spring 2021.
Jack and Amelie Ltd:
"The reformulation project with ZERO2FIVE offered us an invaluable opportunity to explore a new direction for our products, with access to a team of experts and a wealth of information. Despite all of the restrictions of remote working, the process ran smoothly and efficiently, with ample opportunity for discussion, input and feedback throughout. We would like to thank ZERO2FIVE for their support of Jack and Amelie to date."