Food & Drink International - Winter 2017, Volume 2 - 43
Giraffe Foods Inc.
happens," notes Ellen Powell. "Once you get everyone in a
room with lots of tasty food, the creative juices get flowing
and some great collaborating happens there. Sometimes we
blend some of this and some of that to result in a product
that everyone is really happy with. We leave these ideations
not only stuffed, but also very happy that we got lots done in
a short amount of time. It's a win-win for both sides."
Powell also notes that the R & D team is encouraged to
participate in educational activities that will further their development skills, including attending relevant industry functions, additional culinary training and even utilizing the internet to stay current on retail and foodservice trends. "We stay
on top of what is up-and-coming to ensure we are providing
the most successful ideas to our customers and prospects
during our culinary ideations," she says.
As the R & D teams customizes each formula to meet the
customer's specific taste profile, the labeling experts in the
Giraffe Foods regulatory department compile all the necessary technical documentation requested, including nutritional information, ingredient declarations, allergens and more.
In some cases, customers require specific certifications
for the purpose of making label claims, such as "gluten-free,"
"non-GMO," "Kosher" or "Halal."
"We provide them with anything they need to be successful, and while that means some extra steps on our part, we
know the customers appreciate our taking care of them so
they don't need to worry about it," Regulatory Specialist
Hamed Zahedi explains.
"We make everything from scratch and don't buy any prepared items," says Commercialization Manager Kirsten
Benneter. "This includes ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard,
condiments frequently used as ingredients in their sauces.
Customers may bring us recipes that they originally created
with already made sauces, but we then have to break it down
into their individual components for full-scale production.
"I think the biggest misconception with food manufacturers is that they only use strange chemicals or 'fake' food," she
continues. "We are making the same things they are in their
kitchen - only on a much bigger scale."
R & D Manager Deena Alari notes that while consumers
may use a one-pound bag of brown sugar at home, Giraffe
Foods uses a 50-pound bag, but it's "still brown sugar."
"We're still using the same ingredients that a home cook
would, we're just taking those ingredients and mixing it up
in a gigantic tank," she says, adding that there is "nothing
mysterious" about the company's food.
food & drink international * winter 2017 volume 2 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com