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Stay cool and find new routes to market

17 July 2020

Find out how one foodservice supplier has been able to quickly find new markets, confident in the knowledge that its products were being delivered at the right temperature. 

Nine years ago Piglet’s Pantry started out as a small , family-run bakery in Worthing. Today it is a supplier of more than 50,000 baked goods per week to sports stadiums and entertainment venues across the country. 
To ensure that all temperature recordings from fridges and freezers at the production site are backed up every few hours, with alerts if the temperatures go above critical limits the company relies on thermometers from Electronic Temperature Instruments. The devices are positioned at each station and are also programmed for all of Piglet’s Pantry active work products, allowing the company to set critical and quality control limits.

The temperature data is transmitted by wifi via loggers which transmit data via the cloud. The data is stored locally on PCs and other smart devices where it can be employed to access live temperature monitoring data. 

Because Piglet’s Pantry primarily supplies the sports and leisure industry ¬– one of those hit hardest by the UK’s pandemic lockdown measures  – the company has had to adapt fast after witnessing its entire sales revenue decimate overnight. “Within three days of the lockdown, we created an online shop to supply direct to customers who would usually be looking for their pie fix in attendance at sporting events,” explained Joanna Hunter, co-founder at Piglet’s Pantry. “Additionally, we have also seen a roaring trade online for our afternoon tea hampers, which we quickly adapted after spotting a gap in the market. Right now, they are outstripping pie sales.”
The success of the company’s online shop has also convinced the team to keep it live post-lockdown. Hunter explains: “While this was always part of our expansion plans, we have been taken aback by its success. The loss of all of our sales has allowed us to concentrate fully on implementing the online store from start to finish. With this short-term plan being implemented so suddenly, we found the issue of not having a packaging solution readily made for our products. This required many hours of research to find the right solution.”
Testing times
Once the team agreed on the right solution, it was time to turn to testing. To supply perishable goods, Piglet’s would need to test the temperature of its products accurately, ensuring they stay within a safe range overnight via courier service. 
The company once again turned to Electronic Temperature Instruments to offer a solution. It provided a range of data loggers to allow trials to be conducted. With family members based in the north of the country, the Piglet’s team saw this as an opportunity to test the delivery process.  Boxes of one, two, and multiple pies  were sent in different packaging to ensure the contents remained at a suitable temperature in transit. Additionally, Piglet’s Pantry ensured the internal packaging was insulated enough from any exposure to heat or cool ensuring the items did not perish. Extensive testing was done using the data loggers within the packages, followed by careful and detailed reviews of the downloaded data, making sure that the right temperature parameters were maintained.

“Electronic Temperature Instruments was able to supply wireless loggers to track the temperature throughout the delivery process,” said Hunter. “When the results came back it gave us confidence that the products were still within the temperature range required. This meant that we had  found the right packaging solution to distribute our products nationwide.”

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