There’s nothing more rewarding than getting it right. Turning my dreams into reality, and getting fab feedback from you.
Read on to learn more about how I work to create the perfect flavour combinations. And to discover what I’m experimenting with at the moment.
First thing’s first: The idea
I love crafting and creating flavour combinations. Whether it’s a new twist on an old classic (think Honey Chilli Hazelnuts) or a unique flavour combination (I was particularly pleased with Smokey Almonds and Corn), having a new idea is incredibly exciting.
I draw inspiration from travel, monitoring world trends and listening to you
I’m often asked about how I’ve first thought of an idea. I’m incredibly privileged to travel the world as part of my job, visiting exotic places, meeting new people and – most importantly – tasting local delicacies. Often a new spice or herb will strike a chord or spark an idea, and once I get home I start experimenting!
Part of my role also involves monitoring world food trends. For example, staying healthy is increasingly a priority. This has led to a surge in popularity in nuts like almonds, which are high in vitamins and fibre – as well as (very helpfully!) being incredible flavour carriers.
Listening is also hugely important. I value feedback from customers, industry experts and anyone with an interest in healthy, delicious snacking. Knowing what you’re looking for – what you like and what you don’t – puts me in the strongest possible position to send your snack taste-o-meter off the radar.
The mixing process involves instinct, trialling and refining
It normally takes two or three trial batches – experimenting with proportions of the different ingredients – to get things right. I mix everything by hand, which means I maintain total control over the process.
I’m often asked if I know immediately whether I’m on to a winner! Occasionally I’m surprised, and a concoction doesn’t have the impact I’d hoped. But, most of the time, I know when I’ve come up with a successful flavour combo.
All my new concoctions go through an intensive tasting process: first the Cranberry staff have their say; next, it’s the turn of a specially selected taste panel of experts; and finally, we use customer focus groups to give us an idea of how popular a product’s likely to be.
And here’s what’s currently under concoction
At the moment, I’m trying a few new flavours. I generally have three or four on the go at any one time. Without giving away too many secrets, here’s a snapshot of my concoction lab as it stands in the run up to Christmas:
- I’m combining turkey and stuffing to create a seasonal treat
- I’m concocting a Thai curry flavouring, after an intensive culinary feast of a trip
- Combining spices is a hobby of mine, so I’m in the process of perfecting a spice mix
- Plus, I’m giving chia seeds – a popular seed with great health benefits – a twist with a sensational coating
As Cranberry’s resident Nut Expert, it’s my role to ensure that our products pave the way. I’m particularly proud when an unusual flavour combination gets the thumbs up from you.