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Small Changes, Big Impact: Our Pouches

Dave Nolan, 25th April 2019

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We are extremely lucky to receive lots of feedback from our customers every day. We hear first hand the things that people like, and we get lots of incredibly useful ideas on how we could improve as a business.

The biggest theme that comes out of this feedback has always been around our pouches, and how we might improve the experience for our customers going forward. In the past, the main issues raised by our customers have been:

Pouches not being strong enough and potentially being damaged in transit

Pouches not easy to store in the fridge once open

Pouches not being easy to open

We recently opened our newer, bigger kitchen and as part of that process we invested in a new packaging machine. As a result, we now create a pouch around the food rather than filling the food into a pouch, which has brought with it some great benefits - and has started to address some of those issues we’ve mentioned.

First of all, the whole process is safer and allows us to deliver better quality food inside the pouch. They are much more durable in transit and are now definitely strong enough for the job. Phew. The pouches now also stack better in the fridge, and once open they can sit ‘bottom down’ with less risk of food ending up spilling out before dinner is served.

Recently, we also tried to introduce an ‘easy-peel’ corner to the pouch, but it really didn’t work. The type of film that is needed to make ‘easy-peel’ is designed to be less durable, which meant that our pouches were becoming a bit weaker. And overall, this led to pouches bursting and food being wasted. The pouches also really didn’t look great and although we know that looks aren’t everything, we all take a huge amount of pride in the product we send out to our customers every week. So we really want it to look its best.

Because of all of this, we decided to abandon the not-so-easy-peel feature altogether in favour of maintaining stronger pouches that were easy to store in our customers’ fridges. This wasn’t an easy decision to make but we are absolutely committed to continuously improving our packaging and the experience of feeding our food going forward.

Over the coming months, we will be taking another look at what we can do to make the ‘pouch-opening’ experience easier, but for now, we think using a knife (carefully) to score around the edge of the food - like a pack of bacon - works really well.

One thing we want to stress in all of this is that the food inside the pouches is still exactly the same freshly prepared and high quality food that you are used to. And what’s more, our kitchen is now located even closer to our ingredient suppliers which means that our supply chain is as narrow as possible. And that means we are reducing the food miles between the field and your fridge. This is something that we are really proud of. Thanks so much for all of the feedback and for helping us improve as we go along. It means a great deal to us all and we never take it for granted.

All the best,

Dave, Kev & the whole team at Butternut.

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