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The Harper student behind Waitrose's new summer bacon

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10 June 2019

Morgan Metcalfe, who is studying BSc (Hons) Food Technology and Product Development, has been working at Dalehead Foods for his placement year in Cambridgeshire, which supplies fresh meat to Waitrose.

Based at the Linton site, Morgan has worked within the new product development team which receives briefs from its customers and develops new innovative products. The brief states what the customer wants and can be very open leaving Morgan's team to come up with the ideas and see the product through from concept to launch.

One of the projects Morgan was involved with was the 'Scrumptious Summer' fixture at Waitrose. "A project that I was working closely with was a bacon chop line," says the 21-year-old from Conway. "Work involved developing various flavours following key trends within the food industry, costing the product up, working closely with the finance team, sourcing new ingredients, and working the theoretical nutrition out.

The product is a pack of two thickly cut bacon slices cured in rhubarb, gooseberry, and apple.

"The process of developing a product takes months and months, working very closely with our customer to ensure we deliver exactly what they are after.

"Working on this project was a real eye-opener, seeing all the work that goes on behind the scenes to deliver a product on the shelf; it was great understanding the process from concept to launch.

"Seeing my product on Waitrose’s shelves is amazing, I still can’t quite believe it, being able to go into any of their stores and purchase my very own developed product. 

"I have certainly enjoyed my year out in industry, the past 12 months have flown by, and the experience I've gained and opportunities I have had have been incredible, it will stay with me forever. I would like to thank everyone at Dalehead Foods, especially the NPD department at Linton."

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