The company has been working closely with award-winning Cornish Michelin-starred chef Chris Eden on product development, with some products launched earlier this year and more planned for the autumn.
Kieran Hemsworth, managing director of Ginsters, which is owned by Samworth Brothers, said the chilled savoury pastries market currently had 87% penetration. In addition, more than half of consumers surveyed believed product quality was an issue and more than a third perceived products to have a bland taste. By contrast, Ginsters was outperforming the market and hoped to seize on some of the opportunities afforded by the fact that the category was not achieving its full potential.
“We’re trying to have three conversations with consumers around the brand,” said Hemsworth. “First, we want them to know we are from Cornwall. Cornwall stands for great food provenance. Second, we want them to know about the quality ingredients we have in our products. We only use 100% British-farmed produce. We use 100% British-farmed chicken breast and the majority of our vegetables are from Hay Farm [in Cornwall]. We use Cornish cream in a lot of our products. We don’t use any artificial ingredients.”
Three million a week
Products were also intended to be as fresh as they could be when sold, arriving in stores the day after they were made at a rate of three million a week.
“Third, our products have a distinctive taste,” said Hemsworth. He pointed to Ginsters’ Mexican Chilli Slice, which it launched last year and which contained 22 different ingredients.
The packaging bears designs that highlight the Cornish provenance of the pastries and a Union Jack logo that flags up that all the ingredients have been sourced from within the UK. Packs will feature windows through which shoppers can see the products.
The new branding was first seen at the English Football League’s (EFL’s) play-off finals at Wembley Stadium in May. The new look will be rolled out across all of Ginsters’ pasties, slices, sausage rolls and savoury snacks and incorporates a refreshed logo and visuals based on a traditional wood-carving technique. The new packs will hit retailers from early July.
Among its packaging partners, Ginsters had been working with Thoroughbred Design & Print, Nixon Packaging Solutions and Mondi to deliver the end result.
New products had been created with a healthy eating agenda in mind, boasting low calories and a low salt content. A 150g Ginsters Katsu Chicken Slice, which contains 370 calories and a 150g Ginsters Piri Piri Chicken Slice hit the shelves in April. This was followed later in the month by a Moroccan Vegetable Pasty and a Cornish Cheese & Caramelised Onion Pasty, introduced to support consumers’ increased interest in vegetarianism and flexitarianism.
“There’s much more to come,” said Hemsworth. “We’re doing work on how to take pasties and slices into new formats for growing consumer occasions.”
Vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian trends would inform some of the product development, he said, citing research that 91% of consumers were adopting a more flexitarian diet.
A Taste of Cornwall communications plan, underpinning the activity, will begin with a consumer experience on London’s South Bank in July, driven by promotion through social media and the blogosphere. Ginsters also expects to generate continued interest through its exclusive partnership with the EFL and branded Plymouth Argyle Football Club kit.
“We are incredibly proud of our Cornish heritage, our commitment to only using British meat, and our unique taste – all of which make up our award-winning pasties and slices,” said Hemsworth.
“As category leaders we will pave the way for exciting product development and innovation, bringing new audiences into the aisle. We are driving the category by meeting consumer-demand for on-trend flavours and the latest consumer-lifestyle choices.”