Process and Stages of Food Product Development

Developing a food product entails more than just perfecting a recipe. To create new food items, companies must plan carefully, labor diligently, and do significant research over a long period. It is critical to set precise targets and timelines that integrate the firm's future direction before beginning a new development endeavor. 

Companies create new products to attract new consumers, expand into new geographic areas, boost profitability, raise brand awareness, or increase market share. Every day, a slew of new food products enter the market, vying for consumer attention.

The following are some of the reasons behind the development of new food products:

1. New inventions

2. A customer's demand (Change of lifestyle, healthy living)

3. Current market loss

4. Market compulsion

 There are several phases involved in creating and launching a new product in any sector.

 Process of Creating Food Products

 1. Generating and screening ideas

An idea that has the potential to transform someone's life can come from anywhere. A market survey might lead to new product ideas. Staff from any area, such as sales, marketing, production, and administration, can record their thoughts after the brainstorming session. Regardless of whether or not a concept is beneficial at the moment, it should be mentioned.

Because there may be several restrictions in putting these ideas into action, screening is required. Finance, marketing, processing, laws, packaging, and distribution are all possible constraints. As a result, they must all be taken into account.


2. Market Analysis

Market research provides insight into customer preferences and product acceptability. For data collection, it entails both primary and secondary market research. Focus groups and test panels may be used in market research. When conducting surveys, the following characteristics are taken into account: age, gender, economic position, geographic location, etc.

Following a market survey, data is collected using a marketing information system. It consists of four main components: internal corporate data gathering, market data for competitors' products, acquired primary and secondary data, and marketing methods.

 The following aspects are covered by market research:

1. Analyze the Target Market

2. Examine the geographical situation

3. Cost Analysis

4. Examine the competition

5. Conduct a SWOT analysis

6. Business rules and regulations

Market research determines whether or not a product will succeed in the marketplace. As a result, the maker or firm can decide whether the product should be continued or discontinued. The product may be phased out for various reasons, including high development costs, financial difficulties, an unsuitable market, and too many rivals for the same product.

 3. Product Specifications

Product definition may be a time-consuming and challenging procedure. Raw ingredients, various processing methods, quality control, quality assurance, packing and storage conditions, and so on are all covered.

It provides information on the specific description of the product that the manufacturer needs and assists manufacturers in obtaining accurate information on what the buyer wants. Market research will assist in gathering this precise information based on the results of the previous two phases of idea development and screening.

 4. Feasibility analysis (Financial & technical)

A feasibility study is required to find the new product is viable. Technically and financially, new product concepts should be realistic. Technical feasibility tests for the practicability of the different processing techniques, suitability of equipment, availability of sufficient people, time and money requirements, etc.

5. Process Improvement

A new product might be unique and distinct from the existing line, just a line extension or a packet modification. The process, according to it, is progressing. It entails adding a new product line, a redesign of the existing layout, new processing procedures, and personnel training.

6. Development and Testing of Prototypes

Prototype development is required to get an understanding of large-scale procedures and aids in market entry. Large-scale manufacturing entails managing ingredients, processes, and production and storage and packaging on a larger scale.

Market testing will aid in the detection of any flaws in the product, design, or other aspects. It will also assist in determining the appearance and worth of a product in a particular market. On this basis, essential modifications for future development can be made.

7. Start-up

After testing all of the concepts through several phases, the last step is to launch a new product into the market. Before releasing a product, you should have a thorough plan in place. It should include information regarding the date of a product's introduction as well as the target buyers. When it comes to launching, the correct placement versus rivals is crucial. Additionally, client feedback will provide you with an understanding of what the customer requires. It is not necessary to begin working on product modifications right away. You may gradually increase your consumer base. Launching a product is not the final stage in the creation of a new product. It is a continual process, and additional development is always necessary for a product's success.

Over the years, the food manufacturing sector has successfully adopted several generic NPD approaches to meet its demands. However, changing customer demands, increasing retailer pressure, and mounting pressure to reduce negative environmental consequences necessitate rethinking old methods. A formalized NPD model mainly built for food producers must incorporate factors such as closely fulfilling customer expectations, employing seasonal and local products, guaranteeing food safety and traceability, assuring production at scale, and minimizing lifetime environmental consequences.


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