Patties still innovating after 51 years in business
Much-loved Australian food company Patties is celebrating 51 years in business this November, and on Wednesday hosted a party to mark the milestone and showcase the company’s new rebrand.
While they have kept the iconic blue boxes, the new Patties packaging has a more contemporary look with on-pack recipes. Patties also introduced its first fully vegetarian range at the event alongside a series of new worldly finger foods just in time for party season.
Patties GM for marketing and innovation, Anand Surujpal, told Inside FMCG that the new veggie range was designed to meet the changing needs of consumers, from vegetarians to flexitarians.
“Patties has always been about easy entertaining. We’ve always had this portfolio of meat-based products but when we talked to consumers, we realised we needed to extend the range to continue to be relevant to our consumers,” Surujpal said.
The first vegetarian range for the brand includes a vegetarian roll and bite-sized quiches in Spinach & Feta and Caramelised Onion & Cheddar Cheese.
“Patties is a loved brand. It has been loved for 51 years. We just need to make sure it continues to stay relevant so people will continue to love it,” he added.
A “loved brand” indeed, so far this year Patties has sold 5.2 million boxes, that’s over 33,000 per day.
P.I.E time for innovation
Patties four new finger food flavours are the first products to be conceptualised through Patties Innovation Ecosystem, fondly known as P.I.E. This insights-led innovation platform enables staff to share product ideas and insights based on swift data sharing.
The platform is structured around consumer insights, technology, discipline and process as well as culture and leadership support. Surujpal said there has been huge support from the senior leadership team in making sure this is a really effective system.
“The platform allows everyone in the organisation to contribute ideas. Every category has ongoing ideation happening all the time. Hundreds and hundreds of ideas come through, we then screen them with consumers, we have our culinary team work on them. We work with our trade partners too so they can come through the journey with us,” he said.
The system was designed to make sure the company is driving categories and so far is proving a success with categories now in growth of 4.1 per cent and Patties now in double digit growth.
“This notion that frozen food is boring, we’ve really turned it on its head,” Surujpal said. “We’re really trying to bring excitement to the category and to the trade.”
Patties commits to using only cage-free eggs
Patties also announced that as of January 2019 the company will only use cage-free eggs in its products and 100 per cent Australian wheat flour.
“As an organisation we are really committed to supporting this. We just think it’s the right thing to do,” Surujpal said.
Insights into petrol and convenience sector
Surujpal also hinted at a new data insights project that Patties is working on in the “out of home” space.
“We’ve done a comprehensive deep dive in terms of food on-the-go. Probably the largest scale study that we’ve done.”
Patties plans to roll out the local and global insights to the trade towards the end of this month.