Adapting development to American tastes
When working for a global bakery company, adapting products from sister bakeries around the world to the U.S. market is a common way to boost sales.
“We’re always asking ourselves, ‘Can we sell this in the U.S.?’,” said Scott Kolinski, president and general manager for Lantmannen Unibake USA.
One such product was the Mini Signature Selection, a variety package of five mini Danish. It was launched in three different countries, including the U.S. Adapting this variety package to American taste buds was all about the flavors featured in the Danish. In development, the company started with 12 to 15 flavors, according to Scott Rosenberg, director of marketing and customer service for Lantmannen Unibake USA. Through consumer testing, they landed on five flavors for the U.S. market: Salted Caramel Plait, Lemon Cheesecake Coronet, Toasted Coconut Swirl, Cherry Chocolate Coronot and Strawberry Shortcake Crown.
That was two years ago. Today the Mini Signature Selection is one of the company’s top-selling Danish in the U.S.
“It went from non-existent to No. 2 for us,” Mr. Kolinski said.
When it comes to adapting flavors to be acceptable to U.S. consumers, Mr. Kolinski said boldness is key.
“If something is going to be spicy, it needs to be spicy,” he said. “If it’s going to have a certain cheese profile you have to be able to tell what it is.”
When going from Europe to the U.S. at least, sweet flavors should be sweeter and savory flavors saltier.