In layman’s terms, a “cutting” in the food industry is when a vendor brings samples of his wares to the buyers to, well, sample. In our case, we planned an elaborate mix of some of our favorite teriyaki dishes to show off our sauce. The menu consisted of chicken, spare ribs (my personal favorite!), vegetable ka-bobs, salmon, rice and pineapple. We met with Barry, our food broker, that morning and began preparing food for a lunch time cutting. Everything went smoothly, with all the food coming out hot and ready right around noon time. And we had a great turnout. Managers and other important principals that would be working on our account all attended. We even had a surprise visit by one of the top brass.
Everyone began to sample, choosing their favorite foods. There were lots of good questions and lots of good feedback. Many commented on the smoky and sweet flavor of our sauce that makes it so unique. We discussed other foods that it might be good on, including some I had never tried. But then, that’s why these guys are highly successful “in the business”. We also discussed other products we could produce as derivative products. A glaze was one that really piqued our interest. We had made a family “gravy” in the past by thickening the sauce with a rue, which works quite nicely on other food items that don’t allow the sauce to penetrate (so, more like a thicker sauce topping).
Another great idea was a low sodium version. While our teriyaki sauce has no more sodium than any other soy sauce based product, it is, by its very nature, a little high in sodium for some that need to monitor their intake for medical reasons.
All in all, I’d say it went well. We got some really great feedback and ideas and, most importantly, the top brass found no “show stopping” reasons not to proceed. So on we went.
Next post: we announce our deal and the grocery chain that would become the first home for Truly Hawaiian Teriyaki sauce.