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MENU INNOVATIONS | Staff Reporter, Australia
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Nando's looks to get ahead by inspiring the "inner cook" in their customers

The restaurant chain looks to their sauces to give them the competitive advantage.

Nando's recently launched its new ‘For Flavours Sake’ ad campaign - two videos demonstrating how to use their PERi-PERi sauces as a quicker meal addition.

This is only one of their many strategies to present their products as time-saving flavour solutions versus combining ingredients from scratch.

“Nando’s sauces are great for consumers looking for a quick and easy way to turn a good dish into a great one. These two new ads highlight the delicious, fresh ingredients that go into our PERi-PERi sauces while also sharing a shortcut to transforming everyday meals and giving them an instant flavour boost,” Nando’s Brand Manager Stefani Dethan previously said.

QSR Media sat down with the people behind Nando's, who talked about their range of (spicy) products, the trends they've been seeing this year, and why they want to inspire the inner cook in all their customers.

QSR Media: What's been going on at Nando's?
Nando’s Grocery has recently expanded its range of sauces and marinades, introducing Nando’s PERi-BBQ Sauce and Nando’s Churrasco BBQ Marinade to the supermarket shelves. Feedback from customers has been great and sales have been really strong. The marinade brings one of our most popular restaurant basting flavours into the home and is perfect for those occasions where Nando’s lovers can’t make it into a restaurant. It’s use goes well beyond chicken and is great on red meats and veggies too. Our PERi-BBQ sauce in the easily recognisable Nando’s squeezy bottle is fast becoming a staple condiment and tastes delicious in sandwiches and burgers, as a chip dip or even on breakfast eggs.

In restaurant, we’ve just completed a menu overhaul, introducing a couple of new burger, wrap and pita builds to the permanent menu, including smashed avocado and feta and a BLAT – bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato. Our customers are enjoying the variety and increased focus on fresh, healthy ingredients. We’ve also changed our veggie patty so it’s now vegan friendly which has been really well received by flexitarians and those experimenting with meat free meals.

QSR Media: How has been feedback so far on the brand's recently-launched sauces and marinades?

Churrasco BBQ marinade is incredibly popular with our restaurant customers and we’re seeing strong sales thanks to its cult following now that it’s available to take home. Our PERi-BBQ sauce is a new flavour and customers have been equally keen to explore this new addition to the family. We had a great build up on social media prior to their launch. Both were much anticipated and customer feedback has been really positive. It appears we’re on a winner.

QSR Media: What’s your expectation of the range?

Both products sit at the mild end of our PERi-ometer (heat gauge) which means we’ve concentrated on exploring big, bold flavours for these two varieties and both will reach new audiences of sauce lovers who are keen to regularly add some flavour to their favourite dishes.

QSR Media: What interesting trends are you seeing in the industry this 2018?
African inspired flavours are big right now. Consumers are exploring tastes such lemon, ginger, garlic and our very own African Birds Eye Chilli, the core ingredient of our range of PERi-PERi products. These ingredients can be found across most of our grocery products and obviously in our restaurant bastings, giving our sauces and marinades a unique flavour. We continue to offer a range of heat levels from Mild to Extra Bloody Hot meaning customers can sway from heat to flavour at any time.

QSR Media: Any big plans for the year?
Look for us outside of the chilli category this year as we expand our range to reach new consumers, bringing the taste of PERi-PERi to the people. We’re looking to inspire the inner cook in all of us by launching our brand new recipe hub at www.nandos.com.au, which will showcase a range of PERi-PERi recipes including plenty of quick, simple batch-cooking options perfect for people on the go. Healthy, fresh recipes with a kick are also high on the list, with a number offering flexibility to include meat or serve vegetarian.  

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