Based in Oakdale, near Blackwood, and employing around 100 people, the Just Love Food Company sell their range of allergy friendly celebration cakes to many of the UK’s biggest retailers and food service outlets, including Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Waitrose and Booker.
The company was established in 2010 by Mike and Karen Woods when they noticed that there was a gap in the market for nut free celebration cakes to cater for families with children suffering from nut allergies. Over the years, they have expanded their product portfolio to include gluten free, milk free, egg free and vegan cakes.
Waste reduction support
Having become increasingly aware of the potential sustainability and cost benefits of waste reduction, Just Love were signposted towards support from the waste reduction experts at ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre.
ZERO2FIVE provided Just Love with support for two of their most popular lines, carrying out a diagnostic review of both process and operational performance to understand and highlight potential product losses and production inefficiencies that could lead to increased costs and lost time and labour.
The diagnosis was carried out over several days, by auditing the production processes, weighing Just Love’s products at various stages, carrying out time and motion studies, and speaking with staff on the shop floor to fully understand the products from goods-in through to despatch.
ZERO2FIVE’s support helped the company to better understand their processes and waste streams. The data was reported back to Just Love in a way that could help them quickly and clearly understand the impact of waste on their business and highlight areas for future improvements.
Mike Woods, Chief Executive of Just Love Food Company, said:
“ZERO2FIVE’s professional approach of measuring waste at each step of our production process and putting value to that waste has really helped us to understand the value of the opportunity.
“Project HELIX offers a very open and collaborative approach to sharing knowledge and questioning why waste occurs. By sharing their expertise, it will allow us to improve our capabilities and make waste reduction a natural way of operating at every level of the business.”
Bakery training support
A further project saw the bakery experts at ZERO2FIVE deliver bespoke training to Just Love’s technical affiliates on ingredient functionality and baking faults.
Over two days, ZERO2FIVE's bakery team delivered classroom training on the role of different cake ingredients and how to balance their ratios in various recipes. Hands-on training sessions in ZERO2FIVE’s bakery saw the participants create cakes with different faults e.g., excess baking powder or overmixing, to look at the results and understand why they happen. The practical training then looked at how to rebalance these faulty recipes by applying an understanding of ingredient ratios.
As a result of the support, Just Love’s technical affiliates now have a better understanding of what causes different baking faults and how to resolve them. The affiliates will be able to apply this knowledge within the business and ZERO2FIVE are also looking to roll this training out to the wider team at Just Love.
Liesel Taylor, NPD Technologist and Technical Affiliate, Just Love Food Company, said:
“ZERO2FIVE’s resources and expertise that are available to us as affiliates are so beneficial. We really appreciated their input to evaluate the functions and properties of each ingredient. Recipe balancing helped analyse our current range and consider this in future development. As NPD technologists, we can spend a lot of time inputting recipes into retailer specifications and I think it’s vital to get ‘hands on’ with the ingredients and processes to bring the science to life.”