A new potato spiral snack created by Pasta Foods for the American market has gone on sale at more than 3,000 major stores across the United States.
It follows 18 months of research work at the company’s Great Yarmouth headquarters to develop and produce the snack for a multinational food and drink company.
Around £100,000 was invested in research and development for the snack but it’s all in days work to head of development Gary Thurlow who leads a team of four in an R & D department currently focused on about 20 potential new products.
Managing director Karl Jermyn said: “It’s part of our continuing drive into the US market based on our vast experience of the snack pellet business and our long-standing skills in research and development which make us a world leader in this market.
“It’s also another snack pellet product for our Great Yarmouth manufacturing lines which are running at full capacity at the moment and make up around half the business alongside pasta itself and semolina.”
The same Pasta Foods research team is in the final stages of working with American company PepsiCo to launch a new vegetable snack to appeal to health-conscious US consumers.
Taste is just one consideration in following up a customer’s brief for a new product. Today there is also a strong focus on nutritional value, shape and texture as well as packaging and marketing. Much depends on latest trends or the ‘flavour of the month’ - gluten free being key at the moment.
Lentils, chickpeas and yellow peas have increasingly been used in the company’s products over recent years.
Clients visit regularly to see how their product is taking shape and, there can be up to 100 extrusions as each prototype develops and is adjusted. PepsiCo experts have recently visited from the United States to check the latest progress on their new vegetable sticks snack.
“The growth of this type of work is just one reason why we are opening a pasta line at our new Norwich base later this year to that we can update and extend our snack pellet production which will continue in Great Yarmouth,” said Jermyn.