Turkey burgers topped the health and wellness hit list in 2010 when division leaders from across Sodexo’s operations were asked which products could help increase adoption of our cross-divisional wellness criteria for sodium, fat, and calories. So, what does it take to create a better burger?
“Turkey burgers have a healthy halo around them. Everyone thinks they’re really nutritious, but when you do the research, you find that many are high in fat and sodium,” explained Jim Iannarone, Senior Director for Product Specifications and head of Sodexo’s Category Review Council (CRC), a group of representatives from each of Sodexo’s major operations divisions. The CRC meets monthly to review and make product selections.
Sodexo chefs and the CRC worked closely with producer and vendor Jennie-O to develop a new turkey burger that was lower in sodium, fat and calories compared to the prior offering.
“At our monthly meetings, we would cook three different turkey burger prototypes prepared by Jennie-O. We taste-tested each, assessed the taste against nutrition content and gave our feedback to Jennie-O. The turkey burger went through three iterations before we were able to choose one,” said Iannarone.
So, what’s the key to our new turkey burger? A great tasting product that mixes white and dark meat and adds less sodium to the mixture, resulting in a burger with less than half the calories and sodium of the prior offering – a meritorious food science feat.
The new burger underwent a two-month, cross-divisional field test at 90 different Sodexo sites. A customer survey following the test revealed high satisfaction rates in all sectors. And turkey burger sales increased by nearly 5%, proving that customers appreciate the new burger’s big taste and big nutrition.
The new turkey burger officially launched in March and is available in nearly 90 percent of Sodexo distribution centers. The burger is just one example of the many product development issues tackled by the CRC. The group has launched many other products designed to reduce sodium and fulfill our commitment to a Better Tomorrow by promoting health and wellness solutions to clients and customers.
For more information on the new turkey burger, contact Jim Iannarone at firstname.lastname@example.org.