What makes a top commercial product?

Interview with Beverley Sutherland-Smith, preserves judge

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Quinces from the Tamar Valley, ingredients for award-winning jellies

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Beverley Sutherland-Smith, Preserves Judge, Hobart Food Show - Part 3 [©VisitVineyards.com]


Beverley Sutherland-Smith is an Australian preserves judge. Whilst in Tasmania judging at the Royal Hobart Fine Food Show she tells us what makes a top commercial product.

"It's just like all your senses, it's the look of it, it's the aroma, it's the taste, it's translucent, no bubbles, jelly doesn't break up.

Winning a gold medal for a commercial product is a great selling point and something to utilise. "You would be foolish not to," says Beverley. So it is a commercial aspect that she is looking at but it must also meet the high criteria to get a gold medal. "If a product hasn't won then they should question why because judging sets a criteria, a standard". The question should then be asked: "What could I have done to make that better?"

Things have also changed and where once any sort of product might have been acceptable, the public are now much more aware wanting products that are preservative free and more natural. "I want a fresh product. I don't want one that's got preservatives and I don't want one that's got anything that's false. So they (the public) are expecting more natural products and I think that's a good way to go."

"I see product that is such top quality because I make a lot of product purely for testing." She notes the characteristics whilst testing a particular preserve:  "I can tell you this is so well made. This doesn't have any bubbles in it which you can get if you don't make a jelly perfectly. It has a beautiful clear colour, it's very pure, it's not thickened too much with pectin. It's a really great product and for a person to make that on their own at home would be quite difficult so if you can get a great product, why not buy it?"



  • Hobart (TAS)

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April 30th, 2010
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