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Master of Agribusiness

Determining How to Increase Premium Honey Smoked Turkey’s Selling Potential Based on Flavor Reformulation

Derrick Coleman, North Little Rock, Ark., defended his thesis, “Determining How to Increase Premium Honey Smoked Turkey’s Selling Potential Based on Flavor Reformulation,” September 29, 2010.  Coleman was a 1994 graduate of Xenia High School and a 1998 graduate of Central State University. He is currently in Research & Development - Retail with Land O' Frost, Inc. in Searcy, Ark.  He graduated from Kansas State University in December with a Master’s in Agribusiness (MAB). 

Land O’ Frost is one of the fastest growing meat processing manufacturers in the U.S.  They are the number one 1-pound deli pouch manufacturers and the third largest deli meat manufacturer in the country behind Oscar Mayer and Hillshire Farm. Coleman investigated options to improve the performance of Land O’ Frost’s Honey Smoked Turkey lunchmeat. Coleman wanted to determine if the current level of honey/sweetness flavor of the Honey Smoked Turkey needed to be altered to improve consumer satisfaction.

“We conducted consumer taste panels to evaluate different honeys, levels of honey and types of sweeteners,” Coleman said. “We are also exploring what kind of sales impact would occur by changing our packaging.”

Coleman’s thesis project has been beneficial to his company as they look for options to improve the sales of their Honey Smoked Turkey lunchmeat.

“Derrick did an exceptional job of applying his course work to solve a real world business problem facing his company, resulting in a potentially significant financial impact for the firm.  This sort of high impact, applied project has become a hallmark of the MAB program,” said Kevin Gwinner, Professor of Marketing and Coleman’s thesis advisor.

K-State’s Master of Agribusiness is an award-winning, distance-education degree program that focuses on food and agribusiness management.  Students and alumni work in every sector of the food and agribusiness sector and are located in more than 35 states within the United States and in 25 countries. 

“I am very excited and honored to have completed the MAB program.  I can take what I’ve learned back to company and reposition some of our products to generate more sales and broaden our customer base,” Coleman said.

The full thesis publication can be found online on K-State’s Research Exchange at http://hdl.handle.net/2097/15324.