Tesco presents Pioneer Foods with its ‘Passion for Food’ Award at the Grocery Supplier Conference

We are thrilled to have been presented with a ‘Passion for Food’ award by Tesco.  The accolade was presented to us at the Grocery Supplier Conference held at Old Billingsgate Market in London to recognise our innovation during the development and re-launch of Tesco’s Finest cereal range.

Tesco originally approached us with a New Product Development (NPD) brief to review and extend its Finest cereal family group, which consisted of three granolas, one muesli, one porridge, two porridge pots and two sachet porridges. We reviewed the current Finest range against its competitive set which includes: Dorset Cereals, Jordans Cereals and Lizi's Cereal, making recommendations on the range structure, including the number of Stock Keeping Units (SKU) and trends to be considered. Samples that met with the Finest brand values were submitted along with packaging recommendations.

As with every opportunity, the team took a hands-on, collaborative approach. Regular scheduled meetings were held between Tesco’s Developer, Buyer and our team at Pioneer Foods.  This helped to gain a full insight into Tesco’s requirements.

We identified several opportunities for innovation within the range, including a fruity granola which resulted in the development of the Finest Multigrain Blueberry & Raspberry Granola.  Using a blueberry puree and raspberry concentrate, the new Granola had a standout flavour, with natural sweeteners, and a pink hue that features heavily in the product.

Sarah Saunders, Leadership Development Consultant at Tesco said: “We are delighted to present Pioneer Foods with the Passion for Food award for their support with Finest brand development, category review innovation and new product development.  We also recognise their general approach and passion for generating new ideas and developing fantastic quality new products with us.”

Alison Lee, Breakfast Cereal & Ambient Dessert Technologist, Grocery at Tesco added: “This supplier is proactive, always looking at ways to innovate products, enhance flavours and deliver great quality. Pioneer Foods always keep themselves up to date on key trends and flexible packaging options. They work with us as one team to deliver the end goal.”

Product innovation has always been a central focus for our team at Pioneer Foods.  Being recognised by Tesco for our market insight, creativity, and expertise during the development and re-launch of the supermarket’s Finest cereal range is a real accolade.  We have a strong team, who literally live and breathe cereal innovation.  From regular research trips in search of the next big food trend to top London food markets such as Borough Market, our team, headed up by Ruth Skinner, has a reputation for leading the way in cereal bowl-fillers.  We know what food combinations work and are not afraid to push boundaries – it’s this passion and single-minded belief that has helped us retain our leading position in the manufacturer of own brand cereal.

We have a rich heritage in NPD at Pioneer Foods and the strength of our team lies in our love of food, as well as in the solid experience we have across many different food sectors. This includes NPD Manager, Ruth Skinner who has previously worked at Hotel Chocolat, to NPD Technologists, Liz Clarke who is a qualified chef with experience of working with British Sugar, and Holly Blackman who has worked as a bakery technologist.  The team has also recently added graduate NPD technologist, Poppy Motteram who just completed her Food & Nutrition Degree at Sheffield Hallam University.

Finalists for Tesco’s prestigious award included: La Doria Canned Tomato products, English Provender Condiments and dressings, and British Pepper and Spice, but Pioneer Foods was named as the stand-out winner, scooping the prized ‘Passion for Food’ award. 

Did you know? Pioneer Foods manufacture for a host of international companies’ own labels, as well as producing its own branded cereals for leading retailers, discounters and wholesalers in the UK, Scandinavia and around the globe. Pioneer Foods customers include Aldi, M&S, Sainsbury, Morrisons and Coop to name a few.