Are you a business owner looking for new flavors? Take a moment and ask yourself, what keeps your customers coming back for more? Is it your customer service or your advertising? Or is it what’s listed on your menu? Learn how to choose a flavor for your next product.
If you own a restaurant, chances are it’s the food that has them coming back for more. When you’re ready to discover how to choose the perfect flavors to add to your menu, read on.
Research the Business Owner Next Door
Whether you’re grilling steaks or slinging milkshakes, researching your competition is one of the least expensive ways to grow your company. It’ll give you a wide variety of information.
- Market availability
- Product placement
- Product pricing
- Menu options
- Flavor profiles
The goal is to give yourself a better picture of the landscape of your industry. What’s popular and what’s not. It also gives you a clear view of gaps in the market.
Since you provide food or drinks, focus your research on local establishments. Visit them in person and look at their menus. Then try their food.
Also, interview foodies in your neighborhood. You’ll find out what’s hot and what’s definitely not. Focus on making food with flavor profiles that fill the gaps.
Here are few options to consider when you choose a flavor for your next product,
Analyze Your Restrictions
Do you make food products? Do they have any restrictions, such as Kosher, Halal, organic, etc.? Write a list of things that will restrict the flavors you might use and cross them off the list you wrote during your research.
List Your Goals
Sure, you want your customers to like the flavors you pick, but that’s superficial. Think deeper.
Do you need to fill a hole in your menu that’s designated for spicy food? Do you need a fresh flavor in your ice cream? Or Do you want something that pairs well with another dish?
Dig deep. Understanding your goals will help you further limit the scope of your search.
Now it’s time to run some taste tests. No, you can’t offer your customers anything quite yet. You and your employees will be the alpha testers.
By now, you should have a shortlist of ideas for flavors. Run a variety of taste tests with three to five options for each gap in your menu. If you’re taking supplements or food products, the process is the same in either case.
Evaluate the flavor of each dish according to these characteristics:
Aroma Compounds: How does it smell? See if you can find two or more distinct notes.
Top-Note: This is the initial note you notice when you first bite into your dish or sip your drink. Is it strong, salty, bitter?
Mid-Note: You can think of this word as synonymous with “taste.” When you think back on your last meal, the taste you remember is the mid-note.
End-Note: This is the final thing you taste, often called the “after taste.” If you’ve ever suffered through the experience of drinking cough syrup, it’s the “medicine” taste you notice well after you swallow.
Pay specific attention to the sweet, sour, salty, bitter, or savory aspects. Write each down before you move to the next.
If you can’t find the right flavor, you can also try a flavor house. They’re companies that specialize in the research and development process for flavor profiles. It’s what large companies like Jamba Juice and Dairy Queen use to create their drink selections.
If you’re a business owner, you know how difficult it is to keep your customers coming back for more. Check out your competitors for new ideas. Test each with your own palette before you offer taste tests to customers.
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