The Value of a Defined Product Development Strategy
Many companies make the same mistakes when it comes to new food product development. Sometimes, there’s a disconnect between new projects and the overarching strategic business goals. Other times, there are too many ideas bouncing around and not enough focus and direction—causing time and resources to become stretched too thin. And often, companies fail to use the available data to make decisions, which can cause them to miss out on opportunities.
To avoid making these mistakes, you need a defined product R&D strategy—one that’s actionable and unique to your company. What do you want to be known for? Who are your products for? With careful thought and consideration, you can bypass many of the mistakes that spell disaster for food and beverage companies. You can launch innovative, unique, and wildly successful products.
The Steps of New Product Development
1. Brainstorm Ideas
Do you already have great ideas? Wonderful! If not, then the first step is to generate ideas for products you’d like to see out in the world—whether that’s a new oat milk, a CBD-infused snack, or anything in between. From the very start, you should keep some practical considerations in mind as well as exercising your creativity. For example, are the ideas scalable? Are they lean? Are they affordable? You may not fully know the answers to these questions, but you should still keep them in mind when generating ideas. It’ll make the next steps much easier.
2. The Weed-Out Process
Now that you have several ideas in mind, it’s time to weed out the ones that won’t work right now. That way, you can focus on the ideas that have the best chance at succeeding in the market. Set criteria for projects. If an idea meets the criteria, keep going. If it doesn’t, send it back into the brainstorming phase and work on it again later.
3. Test Out the Concept
Now that you’ve narrowed it down to the best product idea, you’ll want to test the concept. This is not the same as testing the product. Just toy with the idea, asking potential customers whether they want or need the product and finding out if they’re actually interested. Also, find out whether they understand the product. If it’s not something they want or understand, then it might not be wise to proceed.
4. Monitor Your Progress with Data
While you’re developing the product, it’s a good idea to put a system in place for monitoring your progress. Establish metrics and collect data as you go through the rest of the steps. This will help you learn and grow whether the product comes to fruition or not.
5. Test for Marketability
Now, you can conduct beta tests on your product! This is exciting because you’ll finally be able to share your delicious recipe with the world—or a select few people, anyway. The valuable feedback from testing will let you make final tweaks and adjustments to the product.
6. Actually Produce the Product!
This is a complicated step, but it’s an important one! It’s time to make plans for producing, marketing, introducing, and distributing your new food or beverage product—and set these plans into motion. Soon, you’ll be ready to commercialize!
7. And Finally, Get it On Store Shelves.
This is the final step for any new food product: getting it onto grocery store shelves and into restaurants or cafes. People can now enjoy the fruits of your labour as they purchase your new product. During this step, don’t forget to keep up the advertising and keep your distribution pipelines flowing with new product!
New Food Product Development Strategies for Success in 2019
Let’s take a step backwards and go back to the idea-generating phase. We want to share some of our best strategies for success in the food and beverage industry in 2019. Here are some of the trends we think you should be looking at.
1. Balance Great Taste with Good Nutrition
Few people are willing to compromise taste in their pursuit of healthier foods, so in 2019, you should focus on creating products that balance delicious taste and nutrition at the same time.
One thing we’re seeing a lot of is hemp-based products, which can provide good nutrition (and wonderful medicinal benefits in the case of CBD)! However, it can be difficult to balance taste and nutrition with CBD and hemp products due to the bitter taste of the key ingredient. So, companies need to keep innovating in 2019 and figuring out how to create great-tasting CBD foods and beverages— without loading them up with unhealthy sugar.
2. Keep your Busy Customers in Mind
Since so many people are busy and constantly on the go, they want snacks and foods that are energizing and satiating.
Many companies focus on how quick and easy it is to consume their food product, but there’s another angle: focusing on how energizing and filling the product is. We could all use some more get-up-and-go while spending less time eating, right?
3. Let Your Customers Express their Personality
Food and beverages are a way for people to express their personality. So, think about how your product can help them achieve that.
This comes into play at many different levels, but packaging and branding is a big factor here. Is your product “Insta-worthy?” Does it have a defined market that is likely to align itself with your brand?
4. Make People Happy
People want to be happy. If they’re going to spend money on a food or beverage product, they want for it to increase their happiness instead of just satisfying their hunger.
So, when you’re developing a new food or beverage product, brainstorm ways that your product can induce feelings of joy and happiness with its packaging, its design, its flavors, and more.
Why You Need Creative Culinary Solutions
Food and beverage start-ups often struggle with the many steps of bringing a product to market. They need an industry insider to guide them along the way. Need help bringing your great ideas to fruition? Creative Culinary Solutions can help you get from the brainstorming stage to seeing your product sitting on grocery store shelves.