Inspiring great meals from prepared foods since 1924

New product development from Roberts of Port Dinorwic for winning menus to delight consumers

July 31st, 2019

Taste is king & queen in this industry. Attributes such as health and convenience go far to drive consumption, but if the flavour profile falls below consumers’ expectations, then the product will likely have a short life.

As an example traditional veggie burgers did not taste like meat and didn’t attract meat-loving burger consumers until companies like Roberts of Port Dinorwic discovered how to make vegetables reproduce the meat-eating experience. Now there is no compromise when choosing a vegetable-based burger.

Two prevailing macro needs that will food consumption in the coming years will be health and treating/rewarding oneself. Products delivering on both at the same time are poised to grow. Consumers can choose new plant based foods to assuage concerns about animal welfare, environmental sustainability, nutrition, and more. At the same time, they’re eating a product with a flavor profile that delivers on their expectations. 

New product development – have a great food idea and need someone to make it?

Creating new and innovative dishes is at the heart of what we do. Our NPD team and production service becomes your partner where we work together to turn your best ideas into delicious products which create commercial growth and build your brand.

It all starts with a conversation and a brief to determine target customers, recipes, flavours, ingredients, ethical sourcing, food standards, cooking processes and commercials.

If you have the idea and need an NPD and production partner we’d love to hear from you.

Innovative Creative New Product Development Foodie

Are you ready to further develop your culinary skills?

Roberts of Port Dinorwic Ltd is a leading manufacturer of cooked meats and ready meals to the UK Food Service Industry supplying products to blue chip food service customers, retailers and manufacturers.

We are looking for an NPD foodie to join our Development team working on innovative and creative meal solutions.

The Person:

·         Passion for food, is innovative, creative and can make food to love

·         Thorough understanding of flavours, ingredients and cook technology 

Sounds like you?


Sous vide cooking

Sous vide, which means “under vacuum” in French, refers to the process of vacuum-sealing food in a bag, then cooking it to a very precise temperature in a water bath. This technique produces results that are almost impossible to achieve through any other cooking method.

With precise temperature control in the process, sous vide provides the following benefits:

Consistency. Because you cook your food to a precise temperature for a precise amount of time, you can expect very consistent results.

Taste. Food cooks in its juices. This ensures that the food is moist, juicy and tender.

Waste reduction. Traditionally prepared food dries out and results in waste. For example, on average, traditionally cooked steak loses up to 40% of its volume due to drying out. Steak cooked via precision cooking, loses none of its volume.

Flexibility. Traditional cooking can require your constant attention. Precision cooking brings food to an exact temperature and holds it. There is no worry about overcooking.

Frozen foods just get cooler

The frozen section in UK retail was once seen as low cost and low quality compared to fresh produce.

With improved production methods, global ethical sourcing and premiumisation of frozen dishes, it’s now a category rich in innovation, quality, sustainability and growth potential.

The millennial buyer isn’t impeded by historic judgement of the category and producers such as Roberts of Port Dinorwic are creating through specialist NPD services are delivering dishes which meet the demands of the health-conscious buyer.

Premiumisation keeps pushing the boundary for the frozen category with provenance and authenticity of ingredients and flavours.

Consumer awareness is improving with regards to frozen foods is often less processed and contains fewer additives/preservatives than chilled alternatives.



Snacks & food on-the-go

UK consumers are now choosing snacks for 50% of all eating occasions. A majority of consumers are aiming to improve their diet and achieve a balanced lifestyle whilst not sacrificing taste.

Millennials and gen X are transforming the UK eating and drinking habits, consuming less meat and dairy and choosing more free-from options. The snack and food on-the-go category now has so much to offer in terms of healthy options and is set to offer so much more.

Snacks now cover sweet, savoury, hot and cold, liquid, biscuits, fruits, meats, vegetables and dairy.

Healthy is now the future of snacking and food on-the-go encompassing free-from, protein, vegan and lower-calorie. Protein snacks are immensely popular as they are favoured by the health conscious due to their high protein content, great taste and convenience. NPD now seeks authentic flavours with new proteins. Protein is no longer seen as the domain of the body-builder, it now is understood to be a foundation of a healthy diet, especially plant-based proteins.

Hot snacks are seeing some amazing flavour profiles with global street food themes.

If your business is looking to develop a snack/food on-the-go offer and are seeking an experienced and innovative NPD team who have an in-depth knowledge of meat and plant based proteins we would be delighted to have that initial chat.


Commitment to reducing plastics in our industry

Roberts of Port Dinorwic are looking for all the ways to reduce the consumption of single-use plastics within the business at every opportunity. Recently we have seen a fantastic initiative in a leading UK retailer where pre-packed bananas are now wrapped in a recyclable paper band. It is estimated it will save 10 million plastic bags a year.

Passionate about minimising plastic

One of our commitments to removing single-use plastics from our business is switching from single-use plastic cutlery to Forest Stewardship Council certified wooden versions when developing and producing dishes for the to-go meal category.

Not only do we embrace this change but our clients are now stating their customers require such positive moves.


Potential supply partners our ethical policy is critical to us working together.

We pride ourselves on responsible sourcing and our commitment to high ethical standards throughout our supply chain. We require complete transparency from all suppliers, with regard to sourcing, working conditions, working practices and employee welfare.

Honesty is a core value at Roberts of Port Dinorwic, a value we expect to be demonstrated by the people that work with us. Our technical team and buyers make frequent trips to our suppliers to check on working conditions, environmental impact and welfare conditions.

National Vegetarian Week

We’ve been busy feeding many of the 3.5 million UK vegans

We’re so proud of our work alongside chefs and food buyers in developing fresh, exciting new vegan and vegetarian dishes which are seen across the UK on restaurant menus and have won numerous accreditations.

Half of UK adults are adopting ‘vegan-buying behaviour’ as numbers of full-time vegans grow four-fold in 10 years and it’s forecast to increase year on year.

Insight from the Kantar Worldpanel Usage panel shows that consumers are already increasingly choosing to eat meat-free dinners, potentially making the jump to veganism less daunting. 29% of our evening meals are veggie, and this has grown consistently over the past few years. The biggest spike has been over the past year, during which we ate an additional 200m meat-free evening meals.

A look at consumer behaviour over recent years shows that taking the plunge for Veganuary might not be such a challenge for consumers, and for many could be a natural result of changing attitudes towards health and environmental issues.

Then bring in “reducetarians” and “flexitarians,” groups committed simply to eating less meat.  The interest is in outcomes rather than processes. The reason people eat less meat isn’t for some badge, some public status, it’s because it has a meaningful impact on the world. According to the reducetarians, to eat less meat is an accomplishment; but to eat meat occasionally isn’t a failure.

This lifestyle choice is just part of the story for the restaurant and foodservice industry as a famous chef recently explained. A party of ten booking a restaurant based their decision on which establishment to dine in on where offered the best choice of vegan and vegetarian dishes for the one vegan and one vegetarian in the group, the eight meat eaters just followed!

The chef couldn’t more strongly advise having a great vegan and vegetarian offer as part of the menu and you don’t risk losing any potential guest whatever their dining profile, their influence is critical. With the amazing flavours, textures and fusion of ingredients many die-hard meat lovers are willingly trying the vegan and vegetarian dishes, with great success.

The founder of one of London’s longest-established Michelin-starred restaurants said: “I firmly believe that plant-based eating is not a trend, it’s a real thing and we are only seeing the very thin edge of what will be a game-changing wedge.”

If you need new dishes for your menu which vegans are proud of and dedicated carnivores love – we’d welcome your call.

Est. 1924