As we announced recently, we at RENJER have developed a completely new product assortment, represented by four unique flavours. You, as our customer, usually just see the final products in our webshop or maybe even in your local stores. But today, we want to take you on our 8-months long journey from the idea to the official product launch.
As you know, we were part of the German TV show Die Höhle der Löwen (known as Shark Tank or Dragon’s Den in the English speaking world) in September 2019. Once the show had aired and all the pressure that had built during 2019 was released from our shoulders, we were ready to go the next step.
We relatively quickly agreed on a few cornerstones of these new products-to-come based on your feedback during the last years:
- More variety in taste between our products (same spice mix before)
- Keep a very natural option in our assortment, to stay true to where we come from, but also create a real modern taste twist
- A total make-over of our packaging design to make it better communicate which delicious food is inside
- Offer products that are interesting for foodies, outdoor enthusiasts, sportsmen or urban snackers, while fitting into the assortment of stores working in tourism, delicacy and food retail as well as outdoor and sports retail chains
This was the base for our development process. In November 2019 we experimented with first ideas for recipes, together with our highly-experienced production facility. This was a constant back and forth and we were going through 6(!) whole rounds of sampling until we had finally found the recipes we were happy with in April 2020. After every sampling round, we did an in-depth feedback session for every jerky sample and gave a detailed list of improvements to the production manager for the next round. You cannot imagine the feeling when we finally had found the perfect recipe!
So the next step for us was a new stylish packaging, optimised for food. During the recipe development, we realised quickly that we will have two different product lines: RENJER Traditional Nordic and Modern Nordic. The packaging design of the traditional product line, consisting of reindeer and elk jerky, with the other main ingredient being sea salt, needed a very classy, Northern feeling to it. On the other hand, the modern product line with elk jerky – black pepper, as well as red deer jerky – chili lime, needed to display a more modern, mass-market suitable packaging approach. Since none of us is a professional packaging designer, we opted for a solution that we retrospectively are very happy with: we used a website called 99designs.com to host a design contest, in which almost 100 people competed against each other to become the designer of the new RENJER branding. Even though this entailed still a lot of work for us – judging and giving feedback on every incoming design during the whole development process – the effort was well worth it and we couldn’t be happier with the final two designs we chose for each product line. The winning designers also agreed to come up with a display box design for us in the same style of the packagings.
So now that design and recipe were taken care of, there’s another important thing we needed to consider. The process of finding a new reliable packaging partner that we already started in October 2019 had to be finished. After having somewhat mediocre experiences in the past with packaging supply, we were determined to put wood behind the arrow and prepare everything properly with new partners for both sales units and display solutions. Apart from quality, we wanted them to be as close as possible to our production facility, in order to minimise our CO2 footprint when it comes to logistics. Luckily, with the help of our investors and other long term partners of RENJER, we were able to do exactly that. Right now, all the packaging material is in production with our new suppiers and we are excited to hold the final products in our own hands in only a few weeks.
We hope that this blog gave you a bit deeper insight into what’s happening at RENJER “behind the curtain” and how long it takes as well as how much work goes into the development of completely new products. We hope you will enjoy our new delicious jerky as much as we do – we have been snacking samples basically daily during the past weeks and can’t get enough of them. However, it’s true that we won’t see the final market-ready results before anyone that pre-ordered!
Thank you for all your support!
Your Team of RENJER