You don’t have to be a foodie or a specialty food manufacturer to have noticed all of the new food trends and products that have been coming to market in recent years. Paleo, keto, non-GMO, gluten-free, natural sugar substitutes, plant-based protein, insects, CBD-infused beverages, and much more.
All of the innovation in food and beverage is exciting and much of it results in products that consumers prefer over the long term. But at its worst, innovation in the food industry feels like a fashion trend, often trying to be different for the sake of getting space on the grocery shelf and attracting consumers’ attention. The plain fact is you will get more attention with an innovative product formulation than by simply calling out “try my product because it tastes great and it is better than the competition!”
It is one of the oldest principles of marketing: you first have to make consumers aware of your product, then get them to try it, and then hope they like it and decide to buy it again. And again, and again, and again…
A quick side bar… just as technology is changing so many aspects of our lives, it is increasingly at the heart of the way the food and grocery industry operates. So, the days of walking the grocery aisle to find a buyer or working with brokers is evolving to more of a technology-based interaction. We recently signed up for a service that grocery buyers and food vendors use to connect with each other. Among other things, it indicates what buyers are searching for. CBD, Keto, and Vegan are currently the top three most searched terms by buyers. When we started, all the buyers were asking about paleo.
That said, we try to stay focused on what we do best: making a great tasting product with simple recipes comprised of healthy ingredients, made the same way Cordy makes them at home – small batches baked by hand.
But we have some new ideas in the works for 2019! First, we and other bakers have learned that you can use spent brewers’ grain as an ingredient in products ranging from flour to bread to… granola! Spent grain refers to the mix that is left after brewers have extracted all the starch and sugar from their brewing grains. Spent grains have a high concentration of protein and fiber making them an excellent addition to certain food products. We have found that they add a very appealing taste and crispiness to our granola. So we are continuing to tweak a recipe that meets our expectations for a product that we think you will like.
We are also exploring a line of granolas infused with distinctive flavors. Sounds a bit exotic, but it is very exciting so far and we hope to advance this idea to make available this year.
Lastly, we think we have finally solved the riddle of how to make a cluster without adding sugar, whether granular or from fruit pastes. If we get this right, you will be able to enjoy our granola in its loose form or in a bite-sized cluster that still has the same healthy ingredients, great taste, and low sugar.
We look forward to a great 2019 and hope to introduce a couple of variations that you will find as exciting as we do. As always, we appreciate your support!