Our Pepperidge Farm bakery team is always thinking about new innovations. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team planned to introduce two new products: Farmhouse Honey White Bread and Farmhouse Butter Buns. In March, we paused the launch of these new products to focus on keeping the shelves stocked with the products consumers know and love.
As the weeks passed, our Farmhouse team took a fresh look at how they could launch the new bread and buns. With travel restricted and many working from home, our research and development (R&D), marketing, quality assurance, and supply chain teams got creative to finalize a new launch window of the bakery items.
Testing from our home kitchens
The teams at our bakeries in Denver, Pa. and Lakeland, Fla. began the first production runs in May.
“Normally we would physically go to the bakeries for the first runs of a new product,” said Hao Wang, Scientist, Pepperidge Farm Bakery R&D. “Since many of us are currently working from home without the ability to travel, we communicated with the bakery teams by phone and video.”
During the initial runs, the bakeries sent samples of the bread and buns to the homes of the R&D, sensory and quality assurance teams so they could ‘tele-taste’ and evaluate them from their own kitchens.
“By sending the samples for ‘tele-tasting,’ we were able to accomplish the same level of quality assurance to make us confident in the release of the new products,” said Heather Penney, Technical Support Product Manager, Quality Assurance at our Denver, Pa. bakery.
The launch of Farmhouse Honey White Bread and Butter Buns marks our first successful virtual product launch, and we’ll continue to develop creative ways like “tele-tasting” to keep advancing new products.