If summertime is a slower season for your business, consider taking this time to experiment and have fun with new flavors and techniques. Use the following guide presented by Joe Sofia, with Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate, during RCI’s 2018 Annual Convention & Industry to develop recipes for new confections. RCI Members: View the full presentation by logging in at retailconfectioners.org/pasteducation.
1. CREATE A "GOLD STANDARD" SAMPLE
Turn your concept into a tangible sample by focusing on a desired flavor and texture. Small benchtop samples are inexpensive, fun and provide helpful guidance. Remember to have an open mind during this step, constraints can come later.
2. GET THE HELP YOU NEED
If you’re a member of RCI, this is a great opportunity to take advantage of your membership and its valuable network of candy makers and suppliers willing and able to address your questions. Another option would be to hire an experienced confectionery consultant, which could save you a significant amount of time. Lastly, help yourself by seeking out educational courses, like the many offered by RCI and other industry organizations.
3. SEEK FEEDBACK
Sharing test samples with employees and customers is not only a great way to get useful feedback, but it's a way to involve your team and engage your customers. Alternatively, consider mailing samples to trusted friends or members of a professional organization you may be a part of, like RCI or your local chamber of commerce. Most importantly, use the feedback to guide your recipe choices.
4. SCALE UP
Produce the minimum batch size in a real production environment, taking detailed notes and measurements. Adjust as necessary and use these samples to test the shelf life of the recipe.
5. DON'T BE AFRAID TO START OVER
Avoid the temptation to move forward with a concept if the results don't meet your original expectations.
This easy-to-follow guide will help to keep you on the right track to potentially find your next signature confection! Looking for to learn more great ideas from fellow candy makers and suppliers, register now to attend RCI’s Regional Conference in Nashville, TN August 19-21!
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