Saving an important customer £1m over the space of a year was a real sweet spot for our Customer Innovation team, after putting to work great products and innovative thinking.

A high-profile baker had approached us with a problem. A popular sweet baked product, stocked throughout the UK by its retail customer, had a shelf life of three days before its pastry became too soft. For the retailer this meant products going to waste when they were not bought in time. Meanwhile, the baker was working six days a week to keep putting fresh stock on the shelves.

Our team, led by one of our experienced Customer Innovation Managers joined forces with the customer’s specialists to co-develop a solution.

They trialled several different fat combinations, eventually reaching a solution with a new product.

The result? Two additional days’ shelf life for the product, reduced labour costs for the baker and reduced waste for the retailer. And, ultimately, the consumer could enjoy crispier, firmer pastry.

This was a win-win for us, our customer, our customer’s customer and the consumer. Over a 12-month period the customer has saved around £1million in labour, production and waste costs, as well as potentially strengthening their relationship with their own customer.

For us, the results are just as rewarding, with simpler production due to the new product and the addition to our range of a new value adding solution helping to secure our share of the market and, best of all, earning our customer’s trust by helping them to fulfil their ambitions.

This was a great example of our co-development approach at work. It pooled our knowledge, skills and capabilities to help meet our customer’s challenge and truly add value to the end products.