Food innovation and product design – 5 key considerations to create products consumers will love
13 July 2021
Michael Adams, Product Innovation Lead
With food and drink innovation happening at a faster pace than ever before, consumer choice has never been greater.
How can your food business innovate to continue capturing the consumer’s attention in a saturated market? And how can you ensure the success
of your new food product?
From reformulation to extending your range, here are some of the key considerations (and associated questions to ask
yourself) that will help you develop products that consumers will love and will be a success on the market.
What to consider when reformulating
Take the Government’s approaching crackdown on high fat, salt, and sugar (HFSS) products. From April 2022, those items will face strict
advertising restrictions. So, this may leave you to ask:
- How do I ensure my products avoid HFSS restrictions?
- What parts of my product do my consumers value the most, and are essential to keep?
- What are my competitors’ products providing that my products do not?
1. Clean label
Clean label is no longer a trend, but a proven reality. Food businesses are now meeting consumer demand for food products with fewer and more
recognisable ingredients. However, removing ingredients such as additives and processing aids can change the very nature of your product.
- How do you tackle these challenges?
- How do you look for alternatives that your consumers will trust?
Clean label is now an important deciding factor for many consumers.
2. Functional Foods
Similarly, with consumers’ soaring interest in functional or better-for-you foods, products that cater for this are booming. Revamping your
existing products can be part of your ongoing innovation programme to capitalise on these trends. However, since any changes result in a
different product, delivering the desired consumer on-pack taglines comes with its own challenges.
- How do you know if the product characteristics have changed?
- Will the products still be accepted by the consumers?
- What can technology do to compensate them?
Be mindful of the challenges ahead of you
The innovation process can be trial and error, with a lot of time spent on testing several new approaches. This can
mean losing resources from other key business functions before being able to finalise new recipes, if at all! This is without mentioning the
potential increase of costs in raw materials, packaging, or processing. These are things you don’t want for your business; new product
development should add value to a portfolio.
More than just taste and cost – sustainability, upcycling, and food waste
Many companies can deliver new products that taste great, and many can deliver products that have a good margin and
low price – but is this enough? A large segment of modern consumers value much more than just these two factors alone.
Sustainability is a pertinent issue that remains high on the consumer’s agenda. As a result, many food businesses are
demonstrating how their company and, by extension, their products are addressing this issue - ultimately increasing their credibility and
loyalty to many consumers. After all, transparency translates to proof and this, in turn, to trust.
Aside from the environmental impact of food waste, there is also an enormous financial cost to your business. Upcycling
is one of several strategies that can address the food waste challenge. During upcycling, waste streams are converted into new consumer
products or ingredients for human consumption. The upcycling concept is certainly not new. Marmite, the popular UK spread, has been produced
from spent brewer’s yeast since 1902. Even our team at Campden BRI successfully reformulated a high fibre tortilla using butternut squash
skins that would have otherwise gone to waste.
5. Food waste
Food waste is not a new problem. In most developed countries, over half of all food waste takes place in the home.
Of course, many of us would like to throw less food away, and so extending a food’s shelf-life would help reduce huge amounts of unnecessary
food waste - both in supermarkets and once people get food home. Finding the right solution – one that not only ensures food freshness and
safety, but also protects taste, aroma and appearance, as well as being considerate to the environment – isn’t easy.
Align yourself with an expert partner
We’re now at an exciting time for new product innovation, but food waste reduction targets and consumer demand for
ethical and sustainable products create new hurdles for food businesses to overcome.
We can help you overcome any challenges that could arise and help deliver innovation without slowing down your product
launches. Having helped many food businesses with new product development, our experts have developed a deep understanding of this process
and can use this to help with your NPD.
Our Design to Value proposition has been designed to help you succeed. Don’t wait to discover how you can grow your
business and affordably leverage trend, speak to us today so we can help you.
Campden BRI Design to Value services are essential to help your business deliver outstanding products and
build long lasting consumer loyalty.
Mike is the Process Innovation Lead, within the Consulting, Technology Group at Campden BRI and joined the organisation in April 2016.
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