Value-added refresh for Taylored Foods

Taylor Preston - Lamb Cooked Shanks
Taylor Preston's sous-vide lamb cooked shanks.

Taylored Foods, the value-added business at Taylor Preston, is undergoing a refresh following the appointment of manager Mike Sander in November last year.

Since Sander came on board – he previously worked for 24 years at ANZCO Foods, more recently as marketing manager there – he has been looking at how Taylored Foods can grow its productivity, its profile and its product offering to markets in New Zealand, Australia and further afield into Asia and Europe. This involves looking at the process flows, efficiencies, yields, product range and new product development and turning its waste stream into saleable products.

Taylored Foods has the capability to make a wide range of both raw and cooked meats, so it is focusing on what it does well with an emphasis on innovation and growing its sales base, explains Sander.

“Beef and lamb minced, diced, sliced, cured and cooked are all processes we can do; it is a matter of matching the process to what the customer is looking for,” he says.

The company produces value-added beef and lamb for foodservice caterers in Asia and Europe.

“Whilst we want to supply local specialty retail wholesalers so we can showcase quality-made product to locals, we also want to focus on the New Zealand and international foodservice sector where a shortage of chefs and skilled hospitality staff is creating demand for ‘chef-ready’ product and ingredients,” says Sander. “If we can do that using natural ingredients and processes then that is even better.”

Taylor Preston has developed a raw, seasoned grass-fed beef patty free of allergens and gluten, with the minimum number of ingredients, but that is full of flavour, which will be launched shortly to foodservice and retail under the refreshed “Taylored Foods” brand.

Being integrated into Wellington-based meat processor Taylor Preston, Taylored Foods is part of the company’s very proud history, says Sander.

“We have a wonderful farm-to-plate story, one which many other further-processed businesses cannot tell. We buy direct from the farm and the cattle are slaughtered and boned on-site at Taylor Preston then transferred ‘next door’ to Taylored Foods for value-adding. From here, we send direct to market, whether the product stays here in New Zealand, or it goes offshore for distribution through our many import and wholesale customers.

“Very few value-added businesses have true traceability back to the farmer, but here at Taylored Foods we have that.”

The company is also conscious about improving its packaging in a way that is environmentally-friendly whilst still protecting shelf-life, which Sander says the company is working very hard at.

Mike Sander, Taylored Foods
Mike Sander, Taylored Foods

“Consumers are conscious of waste and foodservice customers are constantly challenged in this area so we are working hard to do what we can for everyone’s benefit. It is not easy though as New Zealand does not have the capability to recycle all plastics so we are trialling more expensive bio-degradable and compostable materials provided they can maintain shelf-life and protect the product for our customer.”

Another concern is minimising waste.

“We have recently identified how we can take a current by-product, that would have been wasted, and turn it into an extract or freeze-dried powder,” says Sander, adding the project is progressing and the team hopes to be in production in the near future.

“The world of processed foods is a forever changing place with constant challenges from consumer watchdogs, competitors within the industry and those outside, including plant-based foods,” he says.

Taylored Foods is working on product initiatives to keep ahead of the game whilst still delivering a core range of popular products.

“Our strategy is based around products we are good at making to a very high standard, using raw low-value material and converting them into convenience products demanded by consumers. All the way through that, we need to be doing what is right for the company, what is right for the environment, and what is right for our customers,” says Sander.

For more information on Taylored Foods, contact Mike Sander 029 773 1441, or e-mail mike.sander@tpl.co.nz

 

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