Food Innovation Centre

White's Gourmet Fried Chicken

Case study White's Gourmet Fried Chicken

Based in Nottingham, White’s Gourmet Fried Chicken, provide a range of ‘street food’ style food which is cooked locally and delivered fresh to the consumer. They have developed their own signature seasonings, sauces and brands that have an established following - especially the many chicken-based products.

The company created a label for a new consumer product (a fried chicken coating for home cooking called ‘Bird Dust’) but were unsure how to create and display the nutritional data, and wanted the label reviewed to make sure they had included all obligatory items. Additionally, they required technical input to optimise the ‘Bird Dust’ product to perform better in oven baking (it was initially designed for frying). The business was also in transition away from a kitchen based operation to being a 100% consumer product manufacturer, selling Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) and wanted to investigate the operational and technical considerations around expanding their product portfolio into D2C chilled, raw breaded chicken, ready to cook, with additional sauces. In particular they were interested in the technicalities and technologies in relation to keeping chilled products for home delivery at a safe temperature.

Thanks to Alice Jones and the team at University of Nottingham for helping with our labelling. Our fried chicken has been a massive hit over the past 2 years. It was about time we bagged up the secret and shipped across the UK
Hamza Qureshi


Project brief

  • Advise on how the business can ensure consumer product labels are compliant and help them with initial artwork checks to get their first consumer product launched locally and online.
  • Advise on the options for creating nutritional information for consumer product labels to enable a future expansion to selling products more widely than the local area or online
  • Provide technical ideas on how to adjust the formulation or cook process to improve the quality of their Bird Dust coating product in oven baking.
  • Lay out the technical considerations to make when selling chilled consumer products and delivering D2C.
  • Risk asses a new chilled sauce formulation for chilled delivery.

The response

  • A document summarising what would be required to produce a compliant label was produced with signposting to the relavant legislaiton. This included a summary of the main options for generating nutritional data for their label and the pros and cons of each method.
  • A sample of the Bird Dust product was tested in the kitchen in order to suggest easy to implement solutions to make oven baking more optimal.
  • A report on the technical considerations required when starting up a chilled D2C operation was produced, including signposting to and a review of the major requirements of the key industry guideline document relating to this area. This included an overview of emerging passive cooling technologies related to chilled food delivery.
  • The company was connected to another business in the local area who were carrying out a research trial, with UoN input, in relation to using new passive cooling technologies in produce and food delivery.

Benefit to the business

  • Advice on labelling requirements and checks on the artwork, enabled the company to confidently launch their Bird Dust consumer product into a local market.
  • Advice on how to create nutritional information for packs enabled them to produce compliant labels for expansion beyond their immediate local market, allowing them to grow their reach and brand.
  • Assistance provided to improve the cook of the coating mix in consumer home ovens rather than in a frying process, allowed the business to offer innovative add-on items or ‘home cook kit’ solutions alongside their core product.
  • Advice on producing and delivering chilled food D2C has fed in to their strategic decision making in regards to, operational development and timing for launch, related to this type of business.
  • As of December 2020, their Bird Dust products are now available in 15 independent retailers

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