Greenlea - Removing capital investment risk


12 November 2020

When you have 80 years of history in one area of food production and choose to bring on an entirely new product line; de-risking your investment in this space is paramount. Hamilton-based Greenlea purchased Restore, a boutique bone broth company in mid-2020 and wanted to scale up production from the existing 80 litres to 270 litres per batch. After finding a kettle, they suspected would be appropriate, they went to The FoodBowl in Auckland to enlist the help required to trial it and scale up the process, to ensure they could achieve exactly what they wanted.

Greenlea Business Development Manager, Julie McDade says a large part of the scale up and trial process was around trying various pieces of equipment before they made significant capital expenditure. “We got the company we were looking at purchasing the kettle from to deliver one to The Foodbowl, here, working with their team we put it through its paces.

“This was incredibly valuable and gave us the confidence to purchase the equipment knowing it would do what was required.”

The Greenlea team also wanted to see if they could reduce the cooking time down from 48 hours. “To have the space, equipment and expertise to fully interrogate our methodology was extremely beneficial. With a lot of guidance and help from the team, we discovered we could not reduce the cooking time as we lost too much of the nutritional value gained from the long and slow cooking process.”

At The FoodBowl they were also able to experiment with different types of bones, filtration methods and packaging formats. “To be able to test a number of theories and do this trial work gave us such valuable learnings.”

With a new facility installed into their Morrinsville meat production plant, Greenlea are gearing up for a New Zealand-wide launch of two bone broths early next year, then have their sights firmly set on various export markets. “It’s really important to validate your product in its home country and to be able to seriously show strong sales before you head offshore,” Julie recommends. There are also plans for further new product development and The FoodBowl will be their first stop when they get to this point, she says.

To be able to develop new products without interfering with your own plant and production schedule is such a valuable asset for food manufacturers. “The team there is so great to work with. They helped us through all the logistics and walked us through all our options and held our hands every step of the way, meaning we were able to get exactly what we needed from our time in their incredible facility.”

The FoodBowl comment:

“Greenlea, like so many of our customers were looking to add value to what they already do by taking a by-product and creating a high margin, value-add product. We often work with equipment suppliers to help established and emerging companies de-risk investment into processing plant. Add in our expertise in helping them refine recipes, scale up and optimise the process, means they can invest into their own manufacturing facility knowing everything is fit-for-purpose. Over the years, our resources and abilities in this space have saved companies hundreds of thousands of dollars in potentially risky expenditure.”
Alasdair Baxter