One of the most-extensive nationwide taste tests in British history has turned out pretty ‘sweet’ for cupcake lovers.
A part of their “Chosen by You” campaign (and by “you” they mean “customers”), major British supermarket chain, Asda Stores Ltd., asked the British public to sample thousands of items submitted by its grocery suppliers, including Rich Products United Kingdom, in order to select their favourites to be sold in stores.
Rich’s U.K. team chose its cupcakes for this rigorous testing by British consumers and – in an effort to create a real point of difference and increase product quality – associates used the campaign as an opportunity to tinker with their icing formulas. Working with British Sugar (the country’s leading sugar supplier), Rich’s created four cupcake varieties topped with a new, smooth-textured icing unlike anything else in the business, delivering a taste that took the granular feel of icing out of the equation. The team also sourced iconic cupcake decorations that included a hand-finished, edible daisy. Every step in the logistics chain also was put through the paces, to ensure the new cupcakes would arrive in Asda store displays in pristine condition.
Everyone’s hard work paid off when Asda awarded Rich’s U.K. with their 2010 “Best Product Innovation” award. One of the four award winning flavours, the Lemon Daisy Cupcake, was also named the Gold Winner in the Bakery Cakes category at The Grocer Own Label Awards 2011.
“This reformulated cupcake was a labour of love for Rich’s U.K.,” said Ted Rich, managing director, Rich’s U.K. “This project was a great example of the kind of innovation we are capable of here at Rich’s. We aim to please the customer and are always open to trying new processes and ingredients to get us to where we need to be.”
Introduced in 320 Asda stores, these cupcakes, which are delivered frozen and thawed in store, have become a huge hit! Actual case sales soared past projections during the first few weeks that the cupcakes were on the market.
The new fine-icing sugar technology has revolutionized the way Rich’s is now producing cupcakes in Great Britain. Additional customers also have been attracted to the breakthrough application.
Asda’s much-publicized re-launch of products under the “Chosen by You” label was part of a concerted drive by the supermarket retailer to improve product quality, at no extra cost to consumers. More than 700,000 individual tastings of 35,000 own-brand Asda products were carried out by a wide range of consumers who shopped at all major retailers in the country. The result was the single-largest own-label re-launch in U.K. retailing history. The “Chosen by You” family of Asda products introduced for tasting in September 2010 included 3,500 items, 500 of which were entirely new and another 1,000 of which were reformulated. The nationwide product testing in 2010 was conducted independently by Cambridge Market Research.