New Product Development Insider Access with Rita
In honor of Women’s history month, we introduce the final segment of Insider Access with Rita. In today’s segment, we dive into the finer details of the research and development. Even though the scale has changed over the years, our attention to detail and thoroughness to developing high quality So Good So You products has remained consistent. Led by Rita’s resiliency in the R&D sector, let’s hear more about how we’ve reached our current point in product development.
What is your role in R&D?
I lead all of our product development initiatives. I have an awesome support-crew, though!
Who else is part of R & D?
Depending on the type of product and it’s unique challenges, I’ll partner with a naturopathic doctor, an ayurvedic specialist, a registered dietician, or a chef, to help create the most functional, efficacious and delicious product. And I can’t rave enough about the operations and sourcing team at So Good So You – when we come up with some crazy, seemingly obscure ingredient that we’d like to try formulating with, they make magic happen and find the right suppliers who meet our strict quality standards and ultimately help bring the product to life.
What gives you the ideas for shot flavors/ingredients?
New product development is always driven by consumer needs – we listen to our community and what they want help with. What solutions can we offer them to challenges in their everyday lives? Once we’ve identified a potential functional solution that we can offer in a shot format, we start to research the key hero ingredients to deliver the intended benefit. Once we land on the hero ingredient (or ingredients), then we start recipe development in terms of flavor profiles. Natural ingredients are not easy to work with – sometimes they pose unique challenges with strong flavors like bitter or sour, that we get to play with blending in a way that results in a delicious, crave-worthy shot our community will enjoy using.
Which shot was the most tricky to make taste good? (highlight how much time goes into curating a shot that is not only good FOR YOU but also tastes good!)
Hands down, our Energy shot has been the most time-consuming and challenging development process. The hero ingredients, coffeeberry and moringa, both have a strong bitter flavor that was tough to work with. It took us several weeks and over 50 sample iterations tasted (there were over a hundred others that never made it out of the kitchen) to land at the current blend of orange, mango and spinach juice that optimally compliments and masks these star energy-boosting ingredients.
What does the shot-development process look like?
In the early days of So Good So You, it was just me in my kitchen. Occasionally, neighbors would get pulled in as unsuspecting taste-testers. Now, we have an incredible cross-functional team composed of So Good So You employees and outside consultants to ensure we reach our intended outcome. But much of the work, the early development, still happens in my kitchen! I’m not having to juice dozens of different ingredients anymore because we now have a manufacturing facility that is up and running and can provide the raw ingredients I need more efficiently, but we are still weighing, measuring, mixing and tasting early “benchtop” samples in my kitchen. From that point we get feedback from the broader SGSY team of tasters, then our community. We launch products in a small way in our home market of Minneapolis to ensure they are met with a positive response, before broadly rolling out to the market.
Interested in trying SGSY’s probiotic shots? Visit our store locator here and find a store near you.