The ice cream sector, and artisan manufacturers in particular, constantly strives to enhance existing ranges and develop new products, flavours and sensations - but many wrongly perceive that this process can be a long and expensive experience.
Key to Cobell's success, and a real differentiator, is our impressive range of product development services. Our highly experienced in-house team welcomes any challenge and uses our experience in the ice cream sector to create innovative and balanced recipes. This ensures that the perfect texture, flavour, colour and blend can be developed to match each client's specific market needs. Price is also a critical factor, particularly in the current climate, so Cobell's technical experts also help cost engineer ingredients to ease the pressure on manufacturers' profit margins.
"Almost all our clients constantly look to improve their ranges in terms of quality, consistency and cost" explaines Nick Sprague, Cobell's Chairman and founder.
"They also seek to extend product offerings to include new, exciting but importantly saleable flavours. Some flavours simply don't taste right or work when they are cold while others will not adhere to lollies or mix properly with the ice cream. By working closely with our clients in our development lab, we provide solutions and ensure that they get the base fruit or vegetable products that are exactly right for their needs, enabling them to produce individual ice creams and lollies of distinction."
Product provenance is extremely important and different varieties from specific locations are often sourced as they provide subtle variances which can give an authentic twist and help differentiate each new product. These are then added to the base materials under controlled laboratory conditions to create samples for testing. Additional elements can be introduced at this stage, like particulates to enhance mouth feel or aroma.
This process and attention to detail means that it's completed fast and efficiently, enabling Cobell's clients to have new recipes in production and on sale within weeks - so capitalising on demand and maximising sales potential.
And what's going to be 2012's ice cream flavour of the year?
Well ‘adult' flavours like damson, sloe and elderberry are increasingly proving popular and vegetables are being more widely used in avant-garde flavours such as carrot and beetroot. And while more traditional full of flavour soft and exotic fruits have also become firm customer favourites, they can still add a new twist to an old recipe.