Have you ever wondered how foods get from idea to plate?
I have, so I’m always interested in finding out how companies go about product development.
Recently, I was invited to join a Dr Schär tasting panel, at an agricultural college in rural Cheshire. (Dr Schär is the company behind several brands. In the UK, these are: DS-gluten free, Glutafin and TRUfree).
The idea was to help them in their product development process. Dr Schär are interested in looking at two things:
- international differences. Dr Schär sell products in several different countries, including Italy, Germany, US and UK, and people in each of those countries have different preferences for the taste of their bread.
- validating their internal tasting panels. Naturally, Dr Schär have internal tasting teams, but it is important to check every so often that the internal team understand, and agree with, what the customer wants. It’s easy to see how the internal teams might get ‘acclimatised’ to the taste of their own products…
So they’d invited coeliacs to bring along a ‘mainstream’ friend or family member, so that Dr Schär could see how the various products went down in comparison to mainstream bread.
Dr Schaer are running multiple panels, in a variety of different places, and at different times, but at the one I went to it was noticeable that:
- I was among the youngest (and I’m over 50)
- 14 out of the 15 coeliacs on the panel were female
We may or may not have been a representative group; it was an afternoon session, so younger or middle-aged people would have been at school, as my daughter was, or at work.
We were split into 2 groups, one […]