Dear North, owned by Alaska natives, is a lifestyle brand offering uniquely Alaskan natural foods. They approached us to help them identify a new product category and ultimately launch a new line of products.
We started by immersing our trend and strategic teams in the Tlingit lifestyle on location in Alaska, observing the Glacier Bay traditions, products, and ingredients prior to recommending product categories worth pursuing. Using those insights paired with additional trend research, we targeted opportunities and articulated a product strategy. We then leveraged the culinary creativity of our Chefs’ Council® members to develop an entirely new platform, flavor and format: Dear North’s Alaska Salmon Bites. After developing initial products, we gathered qualitative consumer insights and finalized the product, translating it to a manufacturing environment and performing a test run.
As a second phase, we helped Dear North refine Salmon Bites by researching what made the Umami SKU the “Gold Standard” of the product line and determined how to replicate the texture in the other SKUs. We also enhanced the supply chain by sourcing multiple new partners and establishing production procedures to manufacture the Salmon Bites and, later, Smoked Salmon product lines.
Ultimately, we helped Dear North translate the Alaska experience to mainstream consumers via four SKUs launched in 400 specialty stores and online. Subsequently, Alaskan Salmon Bites won a Nexty award for Best New Meat, Seafood, or Meat Alternative at Expo West 2017 thanks to its elevated jerky expression with a softer, smaller bite and authentic Alaskan ingredients. Additionally, we reduced the company’s Cost of Goods Sold (COGS), established procedures for more consistent quality products, and expanded its product portfolio to include Smoked Salmon.
● Immersive Research (Portfolio Planning)
● Trend Insights
● Platform, Flavor, and Format Development
● Culinary Innovation with Chefs’ Council
● Product Concept
● Product Development
● Product Refinement
● Co-manufacturer Search
● Qualitative Consumer Insights
● Product Quality and Food Safety