Why regular yield testing is important

25 October, 2023

Our procurement specialists and dedicated market insights team have their fingers on the pulse when it comes to supplier price movements. The team follows a proven benchmarking process, using the latest technology to constantly monitor prices while also considering product quality, order volumes and order frequency, to ensure our members are consistently receiving the best value from their chosen supply partners, across all areas of spend.

However, when it comes to fresh produce, particularly fruit and vegetables priced per unit (as opposed to by product weight), it’s crucial to not only monitor price movements, but to also regularly scrutinise product yields.

In culinary terms, yield refers to the amount of usable product after it has been processed (i.e. peeled, trimmed, cooked).

High yield is a hallmark of quality and regular yield testing ensures the best return on investment by minimising waste – dependably high yields will ultimately lower net costs.

At Regency, we take a proactive and hands-on approach to yield testing; we regularly conduct supplier spot-checks, ordering varying quantities of produce from our network of local, regional and national suppliers, to review and analyse the true value of the products being delivered into our 5000+ members’ sites.

Earlier this month, the team conducted an in-depth fresh produce analysis, comparing the price, quality and yield percentage of over 20 high-volume fruit and vegetable products, all ordered from Regency suppliers via ‘secret shoppers’. The price and yields were reviewed at both product and total basket level.

Led by Jordan Jones, a Regency Procurement Manager with extensive operational experience, the results were then openly shared, discussed and debated, equipping every member of the team with first-hand insight into the product quality within our supply chain, allowing them to offer Regency members an even greater level of support with their fresh category purchasing.

Another member of the procurement management team - ex chef, Liz Worswick, then went on to explore waste reduction methods and recipes, showcasing and discussing innovative ways to utilise greater percentages of each product, reducing waste and therefore increasing value for money.

The results of this particular exercise revealed that different suppliers came out 'on top' depending on the metric that was being reviewed - the supplier offering the lowest price was not the supplier offering the greatest yields, and the supplier at the top of the leader-board on yield, was not the most cost effective.

Furthermore, when we examined the amount of useable product, the results favoured different suppliers once again. These results highlighted the importance of gaining a greater understanding of suppliers and their product ranges, to allow us to share this in-depth knowledge with our members.

This and similar quality-assurance exercises are repeated regularly throughout the year, across multiple product categories.

Our Development Chef, Andy Chan, conducts regular quality checks on butchery and fish products, including Cooking Loss Tests to examine the water content and shrinkage when cooking meat and fish from across our supplier network.

This extra level of information then allows Andy and our Procurement Managers to advise members on not only the most suitable suppliers, but also on the best cooking methods to give the greatest yield, such as low-temperature roasting or accelerated cooking techniques.

At Regency, we form strong relationships with every supplier, ensuring that they remain focused on delivering high quality products, at the right price while always meeting service level agreements.

Before we introduce a supplier to our network, we carry out extensive due diligence on behalf of our members, and we only ever work with suppliers we know and trust. We always ensure that suppliers within our network are aligned to our own company’s values of trust, honest and integrity, after-all, it is our responsibility to provide our members with fair, impartial supply chain support.  

If you’d like to discuss your fresh category purchasing with one of our specialists, please get in touch.

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