The new Finishing Drizzle range launches in Coles today in the chilled meat aisle, marking an Australian and world-first in both product and packaging.
The Queensland herb and spice business, owned by McCormick, has launched a cold blended meat sauce range – Finishing Drizzle – to deliver a healthy, ready-to-use option for home cooks.
From conversations with hundreds of consumers and working in collaboration with partners including Coles, Meat & Livestock Association, Baiada Poultry and Pork Australia, Gourmet Garden said it discovered "a gap in the market for healthier, fresher sauce accompaniments that are easy to locate in the supermarket".
The range, which comprises six variants, draws on traditional recipes from around the world including Spanish-inspired Salsa Verde and Italian favourite, Basil Pesto. They are all gluten- and preservative-free blends of herbs and spices, almost all locally grown in Queensland, with the exception of a few spices that had to be sourced elsewhere. The products are cold blended for fresher flavour via a proprietary process, and filled at the Queensland facility.
Finding the right packaging solution was challenging, head of innovation for Gourmet Garden, Jacqui Wilson-Smith told PKN. The team worked with local industrial designers and packaging suppliers, but in the end the optimal solution was sourced in Japan.
It's a stand-up foil laminate pouch with a side spout/nozzle supported by a short plastic straw that's integrated into the pre-filled pack. The pack is cold-filled from the top and sealed, and a laser-cut tear off opening gives the consumer access to the sealed in nozzle.
“In keeping with our consumer-led design approach, we wanted a side nozzle because our in-home testing showed that this format delivered a better user experience when they drizzle the sauce on the meat. And since it's a single-use pack, we did not require a resealing option,” Wilson-Smith said.
Gourmet Garden has secured exclusivity on this pouch format for the food market for several years. In Japan, the pack concept has application in the personal care and household products market.
The lightweight pouch is converted and printed in Japan, with the matte finish giving a stand-out effect with the on-pack graphics, Wilson-Smith said.
She told PKN that initially they had wanted a clear pouch, to show off the fresh, beautiful colours of the sauces achieved thanks to the cold blend process, but the requirement for extended shelf life (between 7-12 weeks, depending on the variant) motivated the choice of material.
"The products are affected by light, and the foil pouch enables us to keep them as fresh as possible without using any preservatives," she said.
"It's also the lightest weight option and allowed us to bring it to market at the lowest price point," she said. "We had initially explored using glass bottles but those would have required a foil wrap."
"From a sustainability point of view, this was the best option. But we're still looking at bottles and clear pouches as part of our design-led thinking process - we are always in beta mode."
She explained that the initial graphic designs for packs used in consumer trials were done by Andrew Waters of Ingenious on the Sunshine Coast, but the final finished designs are the work of Sydney-based design studio Boxer & Co.
Finishing Drizzle has been eight years in development, according to Wilson-Smith, who said the company started working on the concept around the same time it initiated development on the multiple award-winning and internationally successful Lightly Dried Herbs and Spices range.
Following the roll out of Finishing Drizzle in the Australian market, the company will be exploring export options in the US where it already has a presence in over 30,000 outlets with its Lightly Dried Herbs and Spices products. At the time of publishing this article, Wilson-Smith was heading over to the US to initiate discussions with channel partners.