At Schouten, we have a wide customer base with a variety of requests. For example, one day we may be asked for a vegetarian burger for an international retailer’s private label, while the next day a producer will ask us to help conceptualise a new range of vegetarian products. We really enjoy the diversity in our work. Meat manufacturer Huhtahyvät approached us wanting to introduce a vegetarian product range. Read more about our collaboration with this Finnish company below!
Case: Huhtahyvät vegetarian product range development
Contact person at Huhtahyvät: Juha Salmi – marketing manager, and Antti Vilska – project manager
Huhtahyvät is a real Finnish family business. Large, and well-known in Finland, they deliver to every supermarket in their country. Originally a producer of meat products, salads, and other products, specialising in smoked products and salamis.
First of all, it is quite gratifying that Huhtahyvät was one of our first partners to introduce their vegetarian range with a TV campaign:
Development of the vegetarian product line for Huhtahyvät
Our international sales manager Teus Hoogendijk met Huhtahyvät at a German fair: “They saw vegetarian and vegan products in terms of developing and complementing their. On the hunt for vegetarian products, they contacted us in summer 2016.
After meeting at the fair, Huhtahyvät was invited to visit Schouten at their Giessen office and they were also shown around one of Schouten’s production locations. Follow-up meetings about the collaboration, creating a joint schedule, the development of the vegetarian range, and other details often took place in Helsinki, Finland.
The collaboration between Huhtahyvät and Schouten was a constructive one. Huhtahyvät wanted a varied range of vegetarian products, and chose Schouten’s existing vegetarian range. Thanks to our knowledge of the Scandinavian market and our experience working with international sales managers specialised in the Scandinavian market, we were able to advise on which meat substitutes would suit this market. Huhtahyvät accepted Schouten’s input, which they then checked with Finnish retail and consumers.
Packaging development is in the hands of Huhtahyvät, who chose to sell the vegetarian products under their own label. Huhtahyvät also chose product names that comply with Finnish law. The vegetarian range is produced at various Schouten locations, and packaged in consumer units. The products are then transported to Finland in a refrigerated vehicle, where Huhtahyvät adds the packaging sleeve.
Teus Hoogendijk: “The biggest challenge is ensuring the logistics run smoothly. It’s always important to listen carefully to each other – mutual understanding is therefore a priority. Huhtahyvät representatives have also visited factories, so both parties’ production and quality requirements are fully aligned.”
As a producer of vegetarian products, we think it is important to ensure we meet the highest quality standards. To guarantee this, we have our own quality service that works with several BRC and IFS certified production locations. This means we can be very flexible, allowing us to quickly test and implement the right production methods for the desired products.
The result is a diverse range of vegetarian and vegan products from Schouten, which Huhtahyvät has positioned on the market under their own brand. Four weeks after the introduction, Schouten travelled to Huhtahyvät’s head office in Kankaanpää to evaluate the process, dot the i’s and cross the t’s, and get to know the Huhtahyvät family.Huhtahyvät.
Huhtahyvät currently carries six products produced by Schouten. Sales manager Teus Hoogendijk has a bi-weekly telephone call with Huhtahyvät to discuss how the range can be kept up-to-date.
We are happy to take the time to help any company looking for vegetarian products or concepts. Do you have questions, or want our help conceptualising a product range? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.