The team at Wiltshire Farm Foods has been busy working on a brand new look, combined with the service you love, for many months, but there have been changes in the kitchen too! As part of our work, we went back to basics and looked at how we could improve many of our best-selling dishes.
The challenge, which focused on every aspect of how a meal looks and tastes, was led by Wiltshire Farm Foods’ Mark Allen, working closely with head chef Phil Rimmer and chef Liam Newble (pictured right), and Paul Jerram, who manages meal production.
“The project we undertook was the biggest redevelopment of the Wiltshire Farm Foods range in its history,” explains Phil, “It was a massively complex task, really challenging and involved teams all across the company."
“To start with, we reviewed the range and looked for opportunities to make our meals even better. Initially we tested them against similar dishes from supermarkets. We considered the meals from a number of aspects, including taste, appearance, nutritional content and value for money. With this, the work really started and we focused on recipe development and ingredients.”
“Our objective was to delight our customers,” adds Mark. “We already know that they are really positive about our food, but we want to continuously improve. We involved customers in the project throughout the process, getting their feedback which enabled us to ensure we had new and improved meals that they would really enjoy and notice the improvements we made.”
The result has been 26 new meals and 53 improved dishes added to the menu. “Some of the changes, although small touches, have had a dramatic impact,” says Paul. “In our casserole dishes, for example, we improved the texture of the chicken, as this tended to break down during the dish’s long, slow cooking. Although that is great for flavour, our new style casseroles have better texture and customers tell us how much they enjoy these new dishes.”
“We focused on our best-sellers initially,” says Mark. “Classic dishes which are enjoyed by so many of our customers – such as Shepherd’s Pie and Cottage Pie, where we have improved gravies.”
“Roast potatoes feature in many of our meals,” adds Phil, “and while we had a good roast potato, we wanted a better one – we’ve cracked it and our roasties are fluffier and lighter than before. Previously we used silverside in a couple of our meals, but the meat is so tender we’ve now taken the decision to use this cut in all of our roast beef dishes.
So, how have the new and improved dishes been received? “When we were testing them with our customer panels, it was obvious we were on the right track,” says Phil. “They were really loving what we put in front of them – from Beef Bourguignon to Bolognese, the feedback was incredibly positive.”
“All meals have to pass the customer panel test,” adds Mark. “They only go into the brochure if customers say they are good enough. We will continue to review all of our meals and desserts to ensure that every dish is the best it can be.”
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