We believe the only way to operate well as a business is to be one step ahead of the curve.
We achieve this through a three pronged approach of having:
- Great People
- Fantastic Resources
- Key Market Insights
Let’s explore how we do this…
We have an eclectic mix of chefs, dieticians, nutritionists and bakers in our New Product Development (NPD) team to ensure we have all the skill sets we could ever need.
Our concept developers are based in the development kitchen, which so often has mouth watering, tempting smells wafting out of the door.
Jez has been working within the Food Industry for 34 years, he has worked in hotels, spent 12 years as a Patisserie chef and has owned his own restaurant. He has brought blue sky ideas and an innovative flair to Bells since joining over 3 years ago.
Debbie, our NPD Apprentice has worked for Bells for over 6 years. Having climbed the career ladder at Bells, she has worked within the NPD team as a Development Apprentice for over year. She is also studying for the Bakery NVQ Level 3 at Kendal College.
The developers are headed up by Carolyn, Innovations & Commercial Manager. After graduating from Sheffield Hallam University with a BA (Hons) degree in Home Economics, she has since worked for two other bakeries, prior to joining Bells and now has 18 years’ experience under her belt (although she would rather you didn’t know that!).
Our NPD technologists have the mammoth task of scaling up new ideas into commercially viable production. Making ideas come to life, day and day.
Joe has worked at Bells for 46 years. He joined the NPD team 7 years ago, and brought with him a huge wealth of experience in bakery, making him a valuable part of the team.
Dacca has been working for Bells for 33 years, 15 years of which have been within the NPD team. He has a huge bakery knowledge, covering both conventional and gluten free baking.
The technologists are headed up by Allan, Process Manager, who brings strong organisation, factory knowledge and methodology to ensure products are launched successfully, time and time again.
Heidi supports the NPD team with planning, sourcing and consulting. She brings buckets of experience to the team in nutritional claims, content and recipe balance, having worked as a dietitian and nutritionist in previous roles for 14 years prior.
The team have a bespoke Innovation Kitchen. Here they have the freedom to explore new concepts and master new products – tweaking recipes here and there until they get the product just right. The focus then turns to scaling up in our bakeries, making the recipe work in practice.
Key Market Insights:
Combined with our internal skills and resources, we also look at what’s happening in the market place. We monitor and track trends through team “away-days” to cities in the UK to see what expert bakers have been getting up to, as inspiration for our next waves of innovation.
We also follow key food writers, scanning the latest books and magazines for ideas. We also regularly attend Farmers Markets to keep up to date with the trends and predict what will be the next big thing!