The work of the product development team for sausages can be seen, felt and tasted, from the production line all the way to the table. Without them, and without you, there would not be a nice aroma of alder smoke in the air.
The product development team for sausages consists of some ten professionals specialising in good food. They seek to develop products that deserve the place of honour on the table.
The Atria Alder-Smoked Sausage Loop and the product development team for sausages are now award-winning: the Academic Sausage Society selected Alder-Smoked as the best sausage loop of the year. “Nice skin, meaty, sounds like a frankfurter, good structure, smoky taste and a peppery aftertaste.”
According to Product Group Manager Kaisa Kettula, the society detected the same qualities as the product development team. Product Development Manager Jussi Palvela agrees.
“The Academic Sausage Society praised the exact qualities that we had wanted to achieve. We know our sausages,” says Palvela.
“Our multidisciplinary product development team consists of representatives of the product and packaging development, production, marketing and quality assurance departments, as well as business controllers,” Kaisa explains.
Our team is responsible for ensuring that our products meet consumers’ needs. In addition to consumers, we must convince the client – that is, the retail sector – that we have an excellent product that works,” she points out.
“We must know the consumers, the clients and ourselves. Atria carries out research and acquires scientific information. The company’s information team processes information about clients and markets. The product development team has access to ample up-to-date market information,” says Kaisa.
Creating something new together
“The idea of the new product became clearer and clearer during the innovation process, which involved consumers and a research agency. The product concept based on a smoky taste rose to the top among various options. The Atria brand is firmly founded in traditions and Finnishness. We needed to combine these two aspects in a way that would also attract conservative consumers. Something new, yet safe and familiar,” says Kaisa.
“Our team’s mission is to translate wishes into products and product qualities. The initial product concept is created together. Meatiness as a desired outcome determines some of the product qualities. The final result depends on the meat, the degree of smoking and the form and structure of the sausage, as well as the seasonings. Within the meat products team, we exchange thoughts about how to achieve the desired qualities in production,” says Jussi.
“The packaging development department is responsible for ensuring that the packaging works in practice, for both the client and the consumer,” Kaisa continues.
No matter how excellent a product we develop within the walls of our Nurmo plant, we have achieved nothing until the product has been sold to clients and consumers. We need consumers to taste the product.
“The tasting sessions for Alder-Smoked that were done through distribution channel marketing were highly successful,” says Kaisa.
A new product made from Finnish meat
The product development team for meat products is a group of true professionals who understand that they are a link in a longer chain: a great deal of work was done before their part, and a great deal of work will be carried out after their contribution.
“Everything is based on pure Finnish meat. The value of the work done in primary production cannot be stressed enough,” says Jussi.
Some of the members of the team change occasionally. While maintaining ease of communication gained through experience, the team also processes fresh ideas. Consumers’ and clients’ needs become those of Atria. In the process, the meat products team creates and introduces around 30 new products each year.