Product Sourcing

The first task was to find a company that could manufacture the pure fruit juice to mix with Ballygowan Spring Water. Criteria for the selection of a company were degree of technological sophistication, ability to produce ;\ range of flavours, expertise in producing fniit juices and flavours, product quality, hygiene standards and speed of response. Three short-listed companies were briefed. Visits to each company appraised their production processes and capabilities.

The three companies each made laboratory-scale products, which were tested using a structured questionnaire assessing aroma, appearance, taste and overall opinion on each of the test products. All tests were 'blind', and the products were compared with successful brands already on the market as 'controls'. The range of flavours screened included orange, lemon, apple, passion fruit, grapefruit, peach, pineapple, blackberry and blackcurrant. The aim was to achieve product ratings competitive with the 'controls' (see Exhibit 2.1).

EXHIBIT 2.1 TASTE TEST

OVERALL LIKELIHOOD

PRODUCT AROMA.' APPEARANCE" TASTE" score OK PURCHASE11

Club Orange 6.9 7.5

Dohler Orange 5.9 5.6

Dohler Orange and 7.4 7.2 Peach

Dohler Orange and 6.6 6.3

Passion Fruit

Dohler Orange and 6.4 6.4 Lemon

Club Lemon 6-7 6.5

Dohler Lemon 6.5 6.9

Dohler Grapefruit 5.8 6.2 and Pineapple

NOTES * Average scores cm nine-point scale, in which 9 = most favourable and 1 = least favourable;

SOURCE: Dimension. March 1989.

After the analysis of each batch, the three companies were rebriefed, shown the taste test results and told the changes required. After repeating the process six times, a German company, which responded particularly well to the product brief and to the taste tests, was appointed as the supplier. Both companies then agreed plant and equipment specifications.

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