Inflation has exploded on to the North American food industry in the first half of 2022. Prices for staple ingredients are going up by 10%, 20%, 60% and even over 100% with little to no warning. These increases are due to a confluence of events like reduced crop yields due to poor growing seasons, realizing the full effects of labour shortages and lockdowns, fuel shortages and the resultant explosion of transport costs due to ballooning fuel costs and most of these issues can be determined to be due to Covid subvariant Omicron, and a very unexpected and devastating war.
Consumers are starting to feel the pinch as these raw material increases filter through the system and result in some of the high inflation rates in a generation. Consumers are struggling to maintain their ability to secure and consume good tasting and nutritious food products.
At Hela Spice, we started looking at these issues a couple of years ago. We wanted to take a fresh look at food products, focusing on meat products and have looked at ways of creating great tasting, healthy and convenient meat products that not only provide a similar eating experience to regular meat products, but that also offer marketable benefits.
Snack Foods have been experiencing sustained demand growth over the last few years. Due to the same pressures that other food categories are experiencing, snack foods are adapting by reducing portion sizes, looking for ways to economize on the recipe, streamlining offerings and even to the point of stopping production of some brands. Our creative R&D team went back to find ways to not only provide cost-effective meat-based snack foods, but also a way to value add upcycled meat products to create new and innovative snack foods that add great value for both the consumers and the processors.
Shelf Stable Hot Dog, Pepperoni and Salami Bites
- Rather than using broken hot dogs, slicing ends or miscuts as low value rework or sold off as seconds at low value, we have developed seasoned, fully dried and shelf stable bites perfect as a supplement to pepperettes or jerkies.
Ham, Bacon or Chicken Chips
- A wonderful way to use lower value trim or slicing ends, by combining them with delicious ingredients like rice and potato flour and starches to create healthy and high value snack foods
Chiffles and Pouffles
- Another creative way to use trim. A blended waffle made from chickpea flour and chicken or pork trim, formed, fully cooked and frozen. A quick, nutritious and delicious morning snack that can be reheated in a toaster
Our Hela R&D Team have many other concepts involving innovative ways to upcycle trim pieces to reduce waste and improve margins
HOT DOGS AND SAUSAGES
Hot dogs and sausages are usually the first-place consumers go to reduce their meat expenses. This is quite often a good choice, but in this inflationary period, hot dogs and sausages have risen dramatically in cost as well. So how do you reduce the cost of these lower cost staples? The Hela Spice team stepped back and looked at it in a completely new way. We have looked at the replacement of a portion of the meat block with readily available bean, grain and pea flours to imagine a line of healthy, great tasting meat products that combine the meat and vegetable proteins to create lower cost meat products. All the nutrition and taste, but lower in cost with healthier eating.
It has taken a lot of hard work, innovative ingredient application and testing, testing and even more testing, but we have developed functional combinations that are almost indistinguishable to a traditional meat-based product and offer a great eating experience and excellent nutritional benefits.
Chicken, Pork and Red Rice Flour Hot Dog
- Blend of finely textured pork and chicken, combined with an extremely functional chickpea flour and other ingredients
Pork and Textured Pea and Chickpea Breakfast Sausage
- All the taste, texture and flavour, lower in cost and healthier with included fibre and vegetable protein
Pork, Sweet Potato Flour and Textured Fava Bean Cheddar Smokie
- With expected texture, flavour and colour, all wrapped up in a lower cost, great tasting and nutritious product
… and these products are easy to produce!
Hela Spice knows luncheon and deli meats! We also know ways to reduce costs to produce them and still offer great tasting, healthy and economical products, by just looking at them a bit differently.
We can break this up into two ways of looking for cost savings in producing high quality luncheon meats. The first way is to examine the processes and ingredients used to produce the existing products and look for options that can reduce the costs, but still offer a traditional product. Our experiences over the last few years with novel functional ingredients has provided the Hela Spice R&D team with a great set of tools at their disposal.
The second way is to get creative in a way like what we just discussed with hot dogs. This is to look at replacing a portion of the meat protein with nutritional and lower cost vegetable protein flours that offer great functionality at a savings. Each product may require a different approach, but we have already produced sample products that meet these targets.
Bright and Flavourful Fermented and Dried Meats
- A delicious pepperette made with sweet potato flour
- A fully dried and fermented pepperoni, ready for pizza, extended with tapioca flour and chickpea flour
- How about a spicy chipotle Jerky, made with beef, lentils and oat fibre?
Delicious Cooked Meats
- Reduced costs of chicken nuggets with great textural wheat proteins
- Baked turkey loaf with a large percentage of functional chickpea flour
- Sliced bologna extended with pork proteins and lentil flour
… and many many more exciting concepts available.
One great thing about refrigerated meals is that they offer the processor the ability to take advantage of fresh ingredients. These fresh ingredients can take an average meal and make it special. This is where the team of marketing and product developers at Hela Spice can take whole musclebased products are the most difficult products to achieve a substantial cost reduction in, but still provide the eating experience that consumers are looking for. We can look at this in a few ways.
The first way is to look at the types of standard ingredients used in whole muscle products and explore the innovative and lower cost new cures, yield enhancers, flavours, spice applications and nets or casings. Our R&D team are fully up-to-date on the latest technologies the meat industry has to offer.
The second area is to look at innovative processing techniques, combined with emerging technologies. We have many years of experience in processing using a wide range of techniques and they would be glad to discuss your products and fine tune the process to get the yields and texture you are trying to achieve. As well, we are working with emerging technologies like spice coated sheets to reduce waste, improved functional ingredients and a range of new processing ideas and equipment.
Finally, we are pushing the boundaries of whole muscle products into the blended meat and vegetable protein category. Where costly meat is replaced by lower cost vegetable proteins and flours that are added to either a macerated whole muscle or injected into the meat itself along with great flavours. Improved cook yields, nutrition and slicing with reduced purge.
Our R&D Team are already working on substantive cost reduction techniques and concepts for whole muscle products.
Have a product idea? Tell us all about it and your search for the perfect ingredients. Find it all at Hela Spice. Let’s talk about your next best-seller.