Matthew Dodson, General Manager – Out of Home, Patties Foods, tells the C&I Industry Leaders Forum about a flurry of exciting new release products that the business will be launching.

C&I: Highlight one achievement at Patties that you’re particularly proud of over the past 12 months.

Dodson: Patties Foods is particularly proud of the culmination of achievements over the past three years, as it embarked on a journey of understanding the importance of the ‘food-on-the-go’ category. The company invested a lot of time and money in collating insights into this category, to better understand consumer demand and identify future trends within the channel. These insights led to the extension of the Four’N Twenty Traveller pie range, an optimal format for on-the-go eating, which has seen huge success and growth within the hot food on-the-go category.

Talking to consumers and better understanding their needs for on-the-go snacking, has enabled Four’N Twenty to expand into the snacking occasion with a new range of Four’N Twenty Traveller Pizza and Bites. Four’N Twenty Traveller Pizza is available in Hawaiian and Meat Lovers; while the new crumbed offer Four’N Twenty Traveller Bites is available in Mac’N Cheese and Jalapeno & Cheese. Both offers are perfect to enjoy anytime, anywhere!

C&I: What do you enjoy most about convenience and what is one challenge you’d like to see addressed in the industry?

Dodson: For me, what I enjoy most is the people within the convenience industry. The channel will always work together to achieve one shared goal: increasing consumer sentiment and continuing to deliver quality products to meet their ever-changing needs.

The challenge for us as an industry is how we engage the younger generation to make sure they see the value and relevance of the convenience channel. Four’N Twenty is launching a range of convenient snacking products to extend the loved Four’N Twenty Traveller range to continue to meet the changing needs of the younger generation and the wider customer segment. We’re pleased to continue to offer delicious, on-the-go meal and snacking options for every occasion.

C&I: What are the major opportunities you foresee for Patties in 2021?

Dodson: The opportunities for Patties Foods within the convenience channel come from the strong foundation built through the Four’N Twenty brand. Four’N Twenty has had a strong renaissance through COVID-19 as consumers turned back to Australian made and loved brands.

This enables tailored innovation to cater to the unmet needs of consumers, shoppers, and trade partners. Four’N Twenty will be stepping into the new and exciting area of snacking within the Traveller range with the upcoming launch of the Four’N Twenty Traveller Pizza and crumbed Four’N Twenty Traveller Bites appealing to consumers looking for that on-the-go hot treat.

We will also see a continued increase in demand for plant-based alternatives with 53 per cent of consumers considering themselves to be vegans, vegetarians, flexitarians or meat reducers in an effort to be more health and environmentally conscious.

There is a clear and growing demand for plant-based products and with the launch of the much-anticipated Four’N Twenty Meat Free Pie and now the Meat Free Roll, Four’N Twenty will continue to consider further options in the future.

C&I: How do you envision the next six months for convenience retail?

Dodson: The channel is always evolving and growing to suit the changing needs of the consumer. At Patties Foods, we’re looking to the long-term future and preparing for what that will look like. This includes looking into how electric cars will impact the channel to the natural expansions within it such as the alcohol space, like most other convenience industries globally.

Trend forecasting within these areas will take the convenience channel into the future, making its key driver, Four’N Twenty even more relevant than today.  

C&I: Is there anything else happening with Patties Foods that you’d like to highlight?

Dodson: As a business, Patties Foods is always evolving. The company is now expanding into the chilled take home food space with the new acquisition of Fitness Outcomes. The high-quality meals are made with real, fresh ingredients, perfect for time-poor people.

This is a great story of a business that’s been making gourmet, functional ready meals to move into the convenience channel. Patties Foods are looking to continue expansion in this category, with insights and support that will grow the business as well as the industry.

As always, it’s exciting times ahead for Patties Foods and the channel.

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