Back to the buzz

Dare to dream: Dreamfarm obtains a Nutri-Score ‘A’ rating

It’s not easy to stand out in the crowded plant-based food industry. It’s even harder to create products that balance nutrition and taste. Haystack Consulting and start-up Dreamfarm embarked on a journey to reformulate its plant-based spread. The goal? Keep it delicious and get a Nutri-Score ‘A’ rating.

The Challenge

Dreamfarm had a dream: to reformulate its classic spread and obtain top marks on the Nutri-Score scale. The score indicates a product's nutritional quality, taking factors like sugar, fat and fibre content into account. But how do you maintain a delicious flavour, while meeting strict nutritional standards?

Enter Haystack Consulting.

Hybrid teamwork makes the dream work

At Haystack Consulting, we quickly realised a hybrid method was required to evaluate the reformulated products from multiple angles.

By combining expert sensory analysis with consumer feedback, we could gain valuable insights into consumer preferences.

First, an expert panel objectively assessed both the original and reformulated recipes. The panel assigned intensity scores to key attributes, such as flavour, texture, and appearance. This objective data became the foundation for understanding the most critical differences between the two versions.

To gather valuable subjective feedback, we moved to the consumer testing phase. Respondents tested both the original and reformulated spreads in a natural environment: their own homes. Participants were requested to record themselves during the evaluation process, for an authentic response.

We didn’t stop there: together, we designed two distinct consumption scenarios:

  1. Participants tasted the spread on a plain slice of bread. A baseline for comparison.
  2. Participants were free to use the spread as they pleased; for creative, context-based feedback.

An innovative combination

Through a combination of sensory and qualitative research, we revealed crucial insights. The reformulated spread, designed to meet Nutri-Score ‘A’ standards, had a more neutral taste and a firmer texture compared to the original recipe. A healthier product, but it affected consumer preference.

Interestingly, in a controlled setting, consumers preferred the original recipe. In a more creative context, the reformulated spread had a higher rate of approval.

We learned a valuable lesson: sensorial differences in flavour and texture influence what consumers like, but it all depends on the context of consumption.

Our conclusion for Dreamfarm? To emphasise the health benefits of the reformulated spread, showcasing various serving suggestions with additional toppings, and developing a wider range of recipes to increase appeal. A savvy strategy to help the start-up position its product correctly, while staying true to its commitment to health and taste.

The bottom line

Obtaining a Nutri-Score ‘A’ rating goes above and beyond meeting nutritional requirements. It’s all about finding the perfect balance between what’s healthy and what’s delicious.

Our collaboration with Dreamfarm is a perfect example: it illustrates the importance of positioning products with different sensorial attributes differently in the market. By combining expert analysis with consumer preferences, Dreamfarm buttered its toast on two sides: successfully introducing and positioning their product in the market while satisfying health-conscious customers with great taste.

Get in touch with the expert

Stefan Peters
+31 6 29 48 42 70
Strategic Growth Enabler