Tuesday, 20 March 2012

New Product Development for Hotel Chocolat

A few of you may have heard me banging on about Hotel Chocolat recently. Well this is what I've been up to...

At uni, we've been doing a New Product Development (NPD) module, and every year students are set a brief and get the chance to develop a new product for a company. This year, we got Hotel Chocolat. 

The brief was to extend their Spotlight On range. We split up into groups and worked together to develop a theme - ours being speciality teas. 

We conducted sensory evaluation on an initial eleven tea flavours, before we decided to go forward with Chai, Lady Grey, and Lapsang Souchong. The latter was the tea that I worked with.

Through the development process, my final product was a milk chocolate ganache infused with Lapsang Souchong in a milk chocolate shell. Lapsang Souchong is renowned for being matched with dark chocolate, so it was a little surprise that the sensory evaluation found that it wasn't the best option.

A few weeks ago, there were group marketing presentations and two of Hotel Chocolat's development team had come to watch. There was a lot of effort that had gone into preparing a ten minute presentation. We each had a little display that used to show off our chocolates, and a PowerPoint presentation (that we'd pleasingly figured out how to incorporate music in to). Our initial ideas for the presentation were a bit extravagant, and at one point we were looking into using dry ice to add some theatre.