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Jess St. Pierre – Marketing Manager at Carrs Pasties – on wanted to add something new to the market with the firm’s Aardman collaboration.
Jess, it’s great to chat. Firstly, can you give us a little insight into Carrs and the history of the company?
Carrs Pasties have been making pasties for the people of Bolton since 1938. They were originally made in the back of our shop on Halliwell Road before they became so popular that we needed a bigger bakery! The business has continued to grow each year ever since then.
Now, the company is in its third generation. We have an ecommerce site, a nationwide delivery service and trade partners all over the country too. We’re focused on quality, community and customer service.
You’ve just created a Wallace & Gromit pasty in collaboration with Aardman. What appealed about this partnership?
It was an opportunity we couldn’t miss – as soon as we met the team at Aardman, we realised how similar our values were to theirs. Wallace & Gromit can be enjoyed by the whole family and so can our pasties, so it was a match made in heaven. It’s been a huge learning process for us at Carrs and we hoped that collaborating with a global brand would increase our brand-awareness nationally.
This More Cheese, Ham & Chilli Jam pasty celebrates the 30th anniversary of Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers. The pasty contains four cheeses, pulled ham and caramelised onion. How did you decide on these ingredients?
We had a lot of tasting sessions where we tried different flavours together, but we knew we wanted to include Wensleydale as it’s the first thing people said when we mentioned Wallace and Gromit! We settled on three pasty flavours which we took to Aardman for feedback before finally settling on More Cheese, Ham & Jam. We wanted to make something different and something that could exist in the world of Wallace and Gromit.
Speaking of different, the pasty comes with a Chilli Jam Dip. What inspired you to do this? Do you think consumers are looking for new taste experiences these days? Are they more adventurous taste-wise?
Our aim was to create a product that was unique, it was a chance for us to do something different and have some fun with a product and to create something that our customers would have fun with too. We wanted to add something new to the market and adding jam to the combination definitely did that!
Focusing on product development, how did you find ‘sharing’ the billing with another brand?
It’s the first time we’ve ever collaborated with a brand on this scale, so getting the design right was essential for both brands. We had a lot of back and forth about positioning, colours and essential information – it was important to represent the personality and tone of voice for both. We worked with our creative agency to create a logo ident that we could use throughout packaging and POS so it was consistent throughout.
You are working with Aardman on the marketing of the pasty. Can you tell us about the marketing support for the product?
It was really important for us to get the marketing right for this campaign and we knew we would need a mix of traditional and digital marketing for it to gain any impact. We have a creative agency and a digital agency we work with, so they helped us to create a campaign narrative that we could use throughout.
This is where ‘A Cracking Combination’ came in to play… We feel it works with all aspects of the campaign. Social media plays a huge part in our brand too and we have built a real community there, so we loved having fun with those posts and seeing the reaction. We needed a physical presence in the shops too so that customers felt a sense of excitement when they walked in. With everything together, we feel we’ve created something really strong.
Carrs seems like a very forward thinking and ambitious company. What else is on the horizon for you guys?
It’s amazing what we’ve achieved so far and collaborating with Aardman on a Wallace & Gromit-inspired pasty has been a dream – we’d love to continue that partnership. We’re always on the hunt for the perfect new shop location and we have plans to be in every home in the UK – so you’ll be seeing a lot more of us!
Last question, where can our readers buy the More Cheese, Ham & Chilli Jam pasty?
It’s currently available to buy fresh from the oven in our shops and via Click & Collect online – and will soon be available frozen for delivery nationwide.
Great stuff! Thanks again Jess!
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