Introducing an Australian grown world first food innovation (patent pending) – Fresh Herbs, Lightly Dried. Combined with an extensive design integration program, including global consumer research, ethnography, prototyping and home usage tests (Australia, US and UK), Gourmet Garden is seeking to transform itself from simply being “herbs in a tube” to a consumer design led portfolio of “herbs, spices and seasonings that truly delight busy cooks by making their everyday cooking easier, more joyful and inspiring”. The result is not just a new product or pack design, but instead, a consumer lead holistic herb “system” designed specifically for busy cooks.
After five years of research and development, Gourmet Garden has created a world first in herb and spice innovation, a potentially game changing technology: New Lightly Dried Herbs & Spices. Australian organically grown fresh herbs, washed, chopped and lightly dried (just enough) to last four weeks in the fridge once opened. That’s four times longer than fresh herbs! In cooking, they completely refresh delivering fresh flavours, colours and aromas. They are the closest thing to chopped fresh herbs in look, taste and aroma. Yet unlike fresh herbs, they last, a culinary innovation for busy cooks which will transform their everyday cooking.
Following participation in the Ulysses Design Integration Program, countless pack and storage concepts were developed, prototyped and tested with consumers. The key consumer led design initiative included establishing a colour coded “variety tab” system (prioritised ahead of the branding) at the top of the pack, colour coded by herb colour to assist the busy cook identify and intuitively navigate the range in-store and more importantly, in the fridge. Other features include maximum transparency, zip lock resealability and an opening large enough to enable the hand to pinch out the herbs.
For a much loved culinary ingredient most fresh herbs end their life crushed/squashed in the vegetable crisper. Following the ethnography sessions, the packaging design incorporates an overwhelmingly popular fridge door storage caddy which ultimately helps deliver a true customised and portable herb and spice system for the busy cook. Home usage tests strongly validated this design with many consumers outlining “it’s just like having a herb garden at your finger tips.” The fridge caddy is designed to hold both the Gourmet Garden stir in pastes (tubes) and the new Lightly Dried pinch pouches.
Lightly Dried Herbs is a new category within the chilled fresh herb fixture of supermarkets. Our consumer sensory testing and home usage tests (Australia, US and UK) confirm superior performance vs traditional dried herbs (appearance, colour, taste and texture). Fresh herbs are largely a single/special occasion purchase and the new Lightly Dried Herbs will be targeting midweek/everyday cooking to drive category growth. More than 50% of Gourmet Garden’s business is export and we are currently ranged in over 20,0000 supermarkets across 15 countries. Following the Australian launch in March, we will launch in the US, Canada and NZ in June and others in 2015.
It’s all about food wastage reduction. Fresh herbs are perishable and wilt within days of purchase. The World Bank estimates the world wastes almost 1/3 of all food produced for human consumption. Fresh herbs are notorious for high shrinkage in-store and also in-home. The Lightly Dried Herbs patented process and high property barriers of the flexible pouch enable these herbs to last 120 days unopened & 4 weeks once opened. Combining the portion controlled & resealable format, wastage is reduced to near zero both in-store & in-home.