Problem Solving with Food Science: Experimental Design
In the spring of 2022, I did some technical food-science-based problem solving for a small but fast-growing, independent cheesecake manufacturer in the Midwest. They’d been putting out an excellent line of products for almost 40 years. But they had discovered an intermittent defect—which is one…
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Case Study: When Sweet Dreams Sour—A Cautionary Tale for Food Manufacturers
I was contacted by a startup trying to develop a coconut-based dessert topping. They were celebrated for being clean-label and vegan—and so far people had been buying and enjoying their whipped topping. But there was one huge problem… The product was fermenting as it sat…
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Case Study: Gummy Recipe Scaling Problem & Months of Delivery Backlog Solved in One Day
In autumn 2020, I consulted for a large white-label gummy manufacturer in California. They had multiple gummy products and were attempting to scale to meet enormous growth in their market. Which was due in no small way to the pandemic. Sales were booming but they…
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Case Study: Brewery’s key product launch saved by improved formulation strategy
In the summer of 2021, I consulted for a domestic craft brewery trying to launch a new line of hard seltzers. Their initial product offering of 3 flavors took almost 2 years to develop. That’s approximately 4x longer than it should have taken. 😳 Then…
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Below: A limited selection of our projects (click to expand).
Development of a Craft Chocolate Business
An Australian drinking chocolate and pastry manufacturer with branded retail locations was interested in manufacturing their own proprietary chocolate.
The client had no knowledge of or previous experience with chocolate making/manufacture.
Over the course of three full days at our facility, we hosted the client and covered key points related to chocolate organoleptic assessment, ingredient sourcing and assessment, cacao and chocolate processing, machinery choices, product formulation, and process optimization.
After completion, our client started a chocolate manufacturing division based upon efficient decision making, leading to significant savings in both time and money, and true peace of mind.
Development of Coffee-Containing Products for a Regional Specialty Coffee Roaster
A coffee roaster was interested in expanding their brand exposure by partnering with specialty food manufacturers/copackers to feature their own roasted coffee in chocolate bars, a hot mocha beverage, and a beer.
The roaster did not have the product formulation experience necessary to develop this full range of products.
We formulated two unique chocolate bars and a proprietary chocolate ingredient for use in the hot mocha beverage—all produced by a copacker–and worked together with the roaster and a regional brewery to develop a special seasonal beer with the roaster’s coffee included.
Our work led to multiple new revenue streams for the roaster, and grew their brand significantly, well beyond the constraints of the specialty coffee industry.
Development of a Fermentation-Based Asian-Condiment University Course
A food science professor at an American university had an interest in developing a course for her students based upon Asian fermented foods (e.g., shoyu, miso, etc.).
The professor had academic understanding of the processes involved, but no real hands-on experience.
We suggested specific formulations for potential products that could be used in the course, advised on the approaches required to make them given equipment constraints, suggested potential experimental variables that could be altered, helped to develop the course laboratory protocol, and provided real-time phone support during the course.
Our course exposed a new generation of American food science students to the intricacies of Asian fermented food products and practices, one of the faster growing segments of the American food market.
Development of an Exciting New Ice Cream Flavor
An ice-cream maker was interested in developing an exclusive, never-before-seen flavor that it hoped would become a huge crowd favorite.
Countless ice-cream flavors had already been developed and marketed by this company and its many competitors, making it difficult for the ice-cream maker to conceive of a product that would be both new and popular.
Drawing from a list of popular ice-cream ingredients and inclusions, we traced them back to their foundations to create an exciting new chocolate flavor concept. First, we sourced and custom-roasted cocoa beans and developed a special sea-salt-spiked butter toffee. We then combined it all into a butter-toffee-coated cocoa-nib crunch to be incorporated into the ice-cream company’s luscious vanilla base.
This fresh and exciting new flavor included several beloved characteristics (crunchy, chocolaty, and caramelly), and was a true study in the power of dynamic contrast. And the ice cream quickly rose in popularity to become one of the brands top 3 selling flavors.
Rapid Development of Bakery Product Line for a Confectionery Company
A chocolate and confectionary company needed several types of baked goods for a new market, and fast!
The company had not previously developed such baked good products for its business.
In a matter of weeks, we developed gooey chocolate-espresso brownies, chewy peanut-butter chocolate-chip cookie bars, and moist double-chocolate muffins for the market using a variety of the company’s own delectable chocolates.
Customers immediately began to purchase these new baked goods with abandon, the sales of which then became a significant driver for increased chocolate bar sales in the same market, boosting overall sales by >40%.
We have also worked with many clients on projects from edibles to fermented foods and beyond.
If you have any questions about food and beverage products not shown in these case studies, please ask us how we can help.