Clientcase: Schouten mini-falafel in QiZini wraps
“We were able to supply the wraps with mini-falafel to as many as four customers”
In 2011, Greencore Nederland and Johma Sandwiches joined together to form QiZiNi. Over the years, the ‘friendly food company’ became a major convenience food player. Their rolls, sandwiches and convenience meals find their way to consumers through private labels and their own brands. Product Development Manager René van Vulpen went looking for a mini-falafel that Schouten could supply to respond to customer demand for a new veggie wrap. René talks about a very successful process.
Creative minds at work
“At QiZiNi, we develop products for a lot of customers. We do so in 85% of cases because a client has requested it. As the Product Development Department, we are involved in every process. That makes for some hustle and bustle, but most of all, it is great fun and varied work.”
“When a customer request comes in, our creative minds go straight to work. For instance, we also source raw materials with our colleagues from Procurement or Quality. And at the end, we test and taste the final product, sometimes involving a consumer panel. In short, we are involved from idea to execution.”
Not so long ago, a customer of QiZiNi came to us with a specific request to incorporate small falafel balls into a wrap. “Normally, we would mechanically cut up large falafels for this purpose. But this customer wanted whole balls. The most important thing for us was processing the product properly. And that’s how we ended up with Schouten’s mini-falafel.”
“A former colleague introduced me to this company some time ago. He said: ‘You must come to Giessen’ and I must admit their presentation was impressive. Then we requested samples, and one thing led to another.”
Final result: better than expected
At QiZiNi, the machine automatically distributes the falafel pieces over the wrap. “Initially, we were afraid the balls would get stuck in the funnel, but that fear turned out to be unfounded. The one thing we have to pay attention to is adjusting the line properly. If the distance to the belt is too far, there is a risk that the mini-falafel will roll away. But that adjustment is equally important with other small pieces.”
Did the final result turn out as René expected? He smiles: “Well, maybe even better. Because we were able to supply the mini-falafel – for which Schouten has a minimum quantity – to as many as four customers. Three times under a private label and once under our own QiZiNi brand. Typically, such customers have only a few weeks available per year when you can present new products to them. However, now it came together exactly as we had hoped.” The mini-falafel wraps are now available at major German and Belgian supermarkets, among other places. “We are very proud of that.”
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