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  • Excalibur Seasoning & John Brewer Excalibur Seasoning: Part 8 - Documentation & Allergens

    Learn about Excalibur Seasoning and why you should trust them to blend your seasonings. In part 8, you'll get answers to frequently asked questions about how Excalibur Seasoning handles allergens, plus information on labeling and documentation. Watch the video, read the highlights here, and then post your comments or questions below.

    Summary

    In this episode we talked with John Brewer, the VP of Sales & Marketing at Excalibur Seasoning, about how they handle allergens, labeling, and documentation.

    How does Excalibur Seasoning handle documentation?

    A lot of their documentation is handled in their SQF Level 3 certification and compliance. SQF is all about documentation. Every input and output for a seasoning it logged, assigned a lot number, and is tracked. For more information on Excalibur Seasonings SQF Level 3 certification, visit https://meatgistics.waltonsinc.com/topic/196/excalibur-seasoning-part-3-sqf-level-3-food-safety-certification and watch Part 3 of our Excalibur Seasoning mini-series with John Brewer for more info.

    What is the blue label that is on some of the Excalibur Seasoning packages?

    It simply identifies that there is an allergen in that product. The blue labels are Excalibur’s way of specifically being proactive towards the possibility of a recall. Most recalls by a meat or food processor occur due to the failure to list an allergen on the label, or an allergen gets introduced where it shouldn’t. USDA inspectors love the blue label because allergens are required to be separated in a meat processing facility from the rest of the raw materials and inputs. The blue label allows the customer to identify allergens quickly and USDA inspectors to quickly visualize if a processor is adhering to proper storage of seasonings and allergens. It is a food safety initiative, that helps make things easier for a processor to separate allergens from the rest of their raw materials.

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  • Excalibur Seasoning & John Brewer Excalibur Seasoning: Part 7 - R&D, Custom Blends, New Flavors

    Learn about Excalibur Seasoning and why you should trust them to blend your seasonings. In part 7, you'll get answers to frequently asked questions about Excalibur Seasoning's "Excalibur Innovation Center", plus FAQ about Custom Blended Seasonings and New Flavor Profiles. Watch the video, read the highlights here, and then post your comments or questions below.

    Summary

    In this episode we talked with John Brewer, the VP of Sales & Marketing at Excalibur Seasoning, about Excalibur Seasoning, their R&D lab, and how custom blends and new flavor profiles are created.

    Does Excalibur Seasoning have an R&D department?

    They do have an R&D department, which is one thing very unique about them in the industry and what they offer with their R&D lab, plus the people and staff that they’ve assembled to run their “Excalibur Innovation Center”. According to John Brewer, Excalibur Seasoning has one of the best research chefs in the industry, Marlo Mastalerz, and what she is able to develop, the timeline, and turn around for products is incredible in both duplication and new product development.

    Can Excalibur duplicate a seasoning blend from another seasoning company, and how does that work?

    If a customer is currently buying from another seasoning company, Excalibur Seasoning can match and duplicate that product in the Excalibur Innovation Center. In many circumstances, they can also clean the label up, extend the shelf life and enhance the product’s appearance on the shelf.

    How are new flavor profiles created?

    New flavor profiles can be created solely by the Excalibur Innovation Center, or it could come from a saleman from Excalibur or Walton’s, or it may come from a customer as a new request for something new, different, or a similar rendition of something existing.

    How much do you have to buy to be able to order custom blended seasoning?

    For dry seasonings, Excalibur Seasoning has what might be some of the lowest minimums in the industry. Only 100 pounds are required for a custom blend. Many competitors have raised their minimums to 1,000 pounds or more, but Excalibur remains unique by offering a very small minimum of only 100 pounds. Those low minimums allow small and independent processors and others to be unique themselves in their own market place without having to adhere to minimums that are simply unattainable at the 1,000 pound level.

    What about minimums for liquid sauce or marinade?

    Excalibur also has extremely low minimums for liquids. At only 150 gallons, their minimum is pretty much unheard of in the industry. One of Excalibur Seasoning’s strong points is their ability to produce smaller volumes of seasonings and sauces that others in the industry simply cannot or do not offer.

    What is needed to duplicate a seasoning blend and make a new custom blend?

    It is extensive, but we make it as easy and painless for a customer as possible. Some of the steps and things needed are:

    Product development form questionaire and ingredient statement Formulation of seasoning, if possible Physical sample to to review aesthetics What is the application, what is it going on, and how much is typically used per batch? Does the customer want to exact and identical ingredient statement, or can Excalibur help clean up the label, and make sure the label is following marketplace guidelines. Excalibur will begin formulation, and prepare the product as the customer would to compare real-world performance of that seasoning Excalibur sends the new seasoning formulation back to the customer for approval, or for necessary tweaking, editing, and a second re-formulation. Is there a cost for duplicating or matching a seasoning and making a custom blend?

    For dry seasoning blends, there is no cost and it is done free of charge.
    For liquids and sauces, it is a lot more complicated, so a $500 deposit is required before development. Then, that is refunded back to the customer after the product is approved and the customer has bought a specified amount once they are a customer. This helps cover some basic costs, but is not meant to be a profit center for Excalibur.

    Why would a home processor, independent meat processor, large food processor, grocery store, restaurant, etc. trust Excalibur to blend their seasonings?

    Consistency. Simply put, Excalibur is going to produce a high quality, safe product, with a high level of integrity and consistency that is hard to beat in any other method. Some customers are afraid of letting go of their proprietary blend that has been in their company or family for generations, but Excalibur has a high level of integrity and guarantees that the customer’s formula is not going to go anywhere or be shared with anyone else. Only that customer has access to their custom blend.

    Why are Excalibur’s products so consistent?

    Going back to Excalibur’s SQF Level 3 certification, they are going to produce a high quality and safe product, that is consistent and always documented. Batches and lots are always compared visually and by taste to the previous batch and lot. Every ingredient is tracked on the input and output, and they guarantee consistency, repeat-ability, and trace-ability.

    Do minimums for custom blends also apply to private label seasonings?

    Many private label seasoning are simply an existing Excalibur Seasoning blend. When that is the case, there is no minimum. If a private label seasoning is also a custom blend, then there still is the 100 pound minimum for dry blends or 150 gallon minimum for liquids and sauces.

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  • Excalibur Seasoning & John Brewer Excalibur Seasoning: Part 6 - Why Use Excalibur Seasoning?

    Learn about Excalibur Seasoning and why you should trust them to blend your seasonings. In part 6, you'll get answers as to why Excalibur Seasoning is better than other competing companies and what makes them special. Watch the video, read the highlights here, and then post your comments or questions below.

    Summary

    In this episode we talked with John Brewer, the VP of Sales & Marketing at Excalibur Seasoning, about Excalibur Seasoning and what makes them better than the competition and why someone should buy from Excalibur Seasoning and Walton’s.

    What make Excalibur Seasoning better than the competition?

    One of the main things is Excalibur Seasoning’s SQF Level 3 certification. That certification ensures that their seasoning is the safest and highest quality product available. Another thing is their superb level of customer service. When you call Excalibur, or Walton’s, you get an actual person on the phone, either a customer service representative or a salesman and not a machine or recording. They are also knowledgeable in the entire product catalog across the entire gamut of products. Excalibur and Walton’s both deal with customers ranging from the small home processor up to some of the largest meat processors and grocery stores in the industry. We provide sales and service for our customers, provide programs and training and not just a single product or sale. When a customer needs us, we are there to provide help and support, and not simply a one-time sale. The level of customer service is second to none.

    What sets Excalibur Seasoning apart from various competitors?

    Development capabilities and R&D are huge identifiers that separate Excalibur from other companies. They are very on trend as to what’s in the market place, what is selling in the regional and global aspects of the market. Relating to everything from sauces to seasoning blends to marinades, there are so many different categories that Excalibur carries a high level of expertise in.

    How does Excalibur come up with so many unique flavor profiles?

    They have a separate R&D lab, or as they call it, the Excalibur Innovation Center, that is constantly reviewing what’s popular regionally and globally. They don’t rule anything out on the development side, as either too wild, or too hard to develop. Even things like Chocolate Chili Flavored Bratwursts and Gummy Bear Bratwursts are two recent additions to the Excalibur product catalog that were created by the Excalibur Innovation Center.

    Why do customers continually come back and buy from Excalibur Seasoning?

    New flavor profiles is one of the top reasons. R&D plays an important role and every year at the trade shows, Excalibur always has something new and exciting to showcase. Customers can always find new, interesting, and trending flavor profiles from Excalibur Seasoning.

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