Watties project brief
In mid 2002, Heinz Wattie's decided to develop and launch a range of Asian stir fry sauces in-a-pouch under a new sub-brand. The company also planned to develop a range of Asian stir fry frozen vegetables to launch at the same time. Both ranges were aimed at two-person households.
Heinz Wattie's is in the business of providing quality products for heartland New Zealand. The company felt the time was right to produce a range of stir fry sauces that would appeal to its mainstream market. There was (and still is), a fast-growing demand for convenience products and a growing consumer acceptance of products in pouches. Asian flavours and noodle stir fries had become very popular. Households were getting smaller and a new generation of consumers had arisen who were keen to experiment with new flavours but who were time-poor.
At the time, cooking sauces came mainly in cans and glass jars, with a smaller selection of gourmet products available in chilled form. Heinz Wattie's wanted to present its new sauces in a way that was easy to use and delivered concentrated flavour. Sauce products on the market provided around 125g sauce per person; this meant that stir-frys and noodles were generally swimming in sauce. The new range was designed to coat the meat, vegetables and noodles in a stir-fry with about 60g sauce per person. The company's marketers also wanted the new products to be versatile enough to use in other ways, eg as marinades and glazes.
The project was briefed to the company's Product Development team in August 2002, with a target launch date of May 2003. Several changes during the course of the project saw the launch date pushed back to 31 July 2003. The original brief was for three flavours; during the course of the project, five flavours were developed and of these, four were launched.