Page 3: Research and development
Golden Wonder has been able to take advantage of important technological innovations, largely because of a commitment to investment in research and development. The original ‘low fat crisps’ on the market were made possible by the development of a process known as ‘steam stripping’. Part fried crisps were subjected to jets of stream which blasted off the excess fat and then the heat of the steam finished off the cooking process. Golden Wonder developed a completely new process for the manufacture of Golden Lights, borrowing technologies from the pasta and baking industries. First, potato flakes and granules are reconstituted and formed into a sheet like pasta, only using potato rather than flour. The crisps are then stamped out of the sheet and dried in ovens and baked. These dried slices of potato are then fried. Because they now have little moisture in them, they pick up very little vegetable oil and hence become low fat. Without the extensive research and development of these processes, using the new technologies available, the introduction of Golden Lights would not have been possible.
The introduction of Golden Lights
The marketing strategy chosen for the launch of Golden Lights was significant. The new product was presented as a low fat alternative to the established Golden Wonder Crisps. The primary claim at this time was that Golden Lights had ‘40% less fat than standard crisps’. The production process was designed deliberately to make Golden Lights brittle and crisp and the design of the packaging was tied into the original Golden Wonder Crisps.