When demand for your artisan product grows, how do you mass-produce without losing the personal touch?
As food and drink consumers become ever more discerning about taste, content and provenance, the market for specialised products continues to explode.
If you can mark your business out as a producer of high quality, great tasting goods – particularly if those meet dietary requirements for a significant part of the population, such as vegan, gluten-free or dairy-free – you’re onto a winner.
But for many producers, that quality is attained due to the artisan, often individual-based manufacturing process. What happens when your production needs to scale up to meet mass demand?
One British ice cream company faced this problem when their luxury, all natural, free-from treats started to gain traction in the industry. The labour-intensive production process meant that only small batches could be produced at one time and a lack of space to expand the manufacturing area was also a problem.
When they investigated the prospect of moving from a manual process to a more automated one, they noticed a detrimental effect on the consistency of the product.
Determined to grow the business without compromising on quality, the company embarked on a considerable research and development programme to find the solution. After much trial and error, this resulted in the development of more operative stations, bespoke freezer units and a bespoke coded quality management system.
All that R&D paid off and now the delicious chilly treat is available in about 400 outlets across the south of England.
Are you working on ways to upscale food or drink production without compromising on taste, texture or quality control? Your innovation could be eligible for R&D tax credits – we can help you find out if you have a claim.