Check out this great interview with Brad Sterl of American Flatbread. The company's latest product was chosen as a Pick of the Week for Phil's Food Reviews, and this one is a HIT!
What inspired you to create your new product? Is there a particular niche or segment of the market you were focusing on?
The idea that frozen foods don’t have to be made with junk. Frozen foods can be just as good as high quality restaurant food if the care and time is taken. We are targeting the consumers looking for a better for you product. Clean labels and the use of less processed ingredients are critical in our product development.
What makes your product different and able to stand out against similar ones?
How important has differentiation been in developing this product? Our products are made the same way a fine baker or chef would prepare it. We ferment our dough for a minimum of 24 hours and use fresh, organic and natural vegetables. We use people to form and top out products because using people in this process creates a better product than what a machine would make. Differentiation is critical to us. We have never followed the pack, we always strive to make the product better and a bit different.
What was the process like of designing your package, and how do you feel the final result has impacted perceptions of your product?
Designing the package took a fair amount of time. We worked closely with some of our loyal customers and also engaged with consumers that had never tried our product. It was important that our package delivered on our brand promise.
Does your product have relevant health attributes? What are they?
We use all natural and organic ingredients. We do not use any refined oils, we use 100% real cheese and require a commitment to not use any RBst. Fresh is key, so all of our vegetables are fresh and cut just moments before use. Our products have less sodium than our competitors' products.
What sustainability efforts have you made with your product/packaging?
We use a high amount of organic ingredients. Our cartons and shipping cases are made using recycled materials. Our current plant is run by using electricity produced by a local Hydro power plant.
Through creating a new product, what would you say were the most difficult parts of the process and what came the easiest?
Finding clean ingredients for our new meat line has been a bit of a challenge, but finding sources for organic cheese is the most difficult. The easy part of the process is creating great food. Our development team has a knack for developing great tasting food.
Anything you would change if you were starting from scratch again?
I would have started in the conventional side of the business rather than starting in the natural space.
Besides your product, what's one out on the market that you admire?
Amy’s has done a great job staying true to its roots.