Hey all! I’m Lara, Hak’s VP of Customer Experience and Project Manager. With 2020 going through the wringer, I wanted to share an inside perspective as a project manager from my time here.
Covid has taken its toll on the food industry, among every other industry out there, with our main source of revenue: restaurants, hotels, casinos and grocery salad bars completely shutting down. Where do you focus your attention when numbers are this bleak?
I’ve been with Hak’s six years, and 2020 put a lot into perspective working with a “small” company. Since March, we’ve been in overdrive, but I’ve found this is the exact environment we thrive in. Unlike large corporations that move at a snail’s pace to develop new products, we’ve not only pivoted by iterating existing products, but introduced brand new products to meet the demand of our “new normal”. This is where focus needs to be in a time like this. Here are some examples of how our product innovation has transformed this year:
All new innovation prioritizes pre-packed retail or food service products that are Covid-friendly
Existing product lines:
At the start of shutdown, our dressings at Whole Foods salad bars were packed into retail bottles for consumers to buy in the produce section. This not only moved the large amount of inventory our retail customers were sitting on, but it opened up the opportunity to bottle our own dressings for retail. We also weren’t starting from scratch with formulas already dialed in because the process was simply an iteration of an existing line.
In the food service division, our sales manager redirected their focus from our bulk salad dressings (previously our bread and butter) and now focuses their energy on our products that are covid- friendly, like our pre-packed single use dressings.
New product lines:
We’ve dropped any innovation that is not covid-friendly to prioritize items that are convenient for home use, and pre-packed for retail. We are introducing our Perfect Side Dishes for club this fall.
With all that said, this year has been one for the books. I value the team we’ve built, however small we are, and the Hak’s community we’ve been able to connect with. We’re keeping it moving, keeping the power on and looking on to what 2021 will bring.