top of page

Mastering the Art of New Food Product Development: Proven Strategies for Success

By TLL Food Technology Team

Have you ever had a brilliant idea for a new food product but weren't sure how to turn it into a reality? If so, you're not alone. Many people have great ideas for new food products, but don't know where to start when it comes to bringing them to market. That's where new product development comes in.

New product development is the process of taking a product idea from concept to commercialisation. It involves a range of activities, including market research, idea generation, recipe development, testing, and product launch.

So, how can you bring your food product idea into reality? Here are some steps to consider:

1. Conduct market research: Before you start developing your product, it's important to understand your target market and the competition. Conduct market research to gather data on consumer trends and preferences, as well as to identify potential distribution channels and pricing strategies. For example, we can conduct surveys or focus groups to gather insights from potential customers about what types of products they would be interested in buying.

2. Generate ideas: Once you have a clear understanding of the market, it's time to generate and evaluate ideas for your product. Brainstorm with a team of people, and consider a wide range of options. Don't be afraid to be creative and think outside the box.

3. Feasibility analysis: Once you have an idea, the next step is to determine if it is feasible to turn it into a viable product. This involves evaluating the technical, financial, and market aspects of the product idea to see if it is worth pursuing. Some specific things to consider during this stage include:

  • Technical feasibility: Can the product be designed and developed using available resources and technologies?

  • Financial feasibility: Is there a business case for the product? Will it generate enough revenue to cover the costs of development and bring in a profit?

  • Market feasibility: Is there a market for the product? Will customers be willing to buy it?

To help with this analysis, you might create a business plan that outlines the costs, revenues, and profitability. You may also conduct market research to gather more information about potential customers and the competitive landscape.

4. Develop and test recipes: Once you have a promising product concept, it's time to start developing and refining the recipe. Work with food scientists to create prototypes, and conduct taste tests and sensory evaluations to gather feedback and make improvements. Here are some practical tips to assist with this step:

  • Ingredient supplier screening: It's important to carefully screen potential ingredient suppliers to ensure that you are using high-quality ingredients that meet your specifications. This can include evaluating their manufacturing processes, certifications, and food safety record. You may also want to consider factors such as sustainability and ethical sourcing. When developing your recipe, try to use ingredients that have reasonable MOQs and that can be sourced from multiple suppliers. This will give you flexibility in case one supplier is unable to meet your needs or if prices fluctuate.

  • Scaling up in the factory: When developing a recipe, it's important to keep in mind that it may need to be scaled up for production in a factory setting. This can involve making adjustments to the quantities of ingredients, as well as considering any differences in equipment or processing conditions. It's a good idea to test the recipe at small and large scales to ensure that it works consistently and meets your quality standards. You may also want to consider conducting some initial testing on the product's stability and shelf life to get an idea of its scalability and potential shelf life.

  • Shelf-life testing: Once you are ready to scale up, it is important to conduct more comprehensive shelf-life testing to ensure that your product has an acceptable shelf life and will remain safe and of good quality for the intended period of time. This typically involves testing the product under a range of storage conditions, such as different temperatures and humidity levels, to simulate real-world use. It is typically only practical to conduct these types of shelf-life tests on products that have been scaled up for production, as the larger quantities of ingredients and packaging materials used in production are more representative of the final product than small-scale test batches.

  • Sensory testing: Sensory testing can be conducted at various stages of the product development process, including during recipe development, scale-up testing, and after the product has been launched. It is important to carefully select the most appropriate method for conducting sensory testing based on the specific product and evaluation goals. It is also essential to ensure that the testing is conducted in a controlled and unbiased manner (does your sensory results tell you the truth?), using trained panellists who are able to consistently and objectively evaluate the product. Some common methods for sensory testing include structured sensory profiling, consumer testing, and shelf-life testing. You can work with a food scientist to help you navigate through your sensory test.

5. Prepare for launch: As you near the end of the development process, it's important to start preparing for the product launch. This includes developing packaging and labelling, as well as conducting market research and regulatory compliance.

Given the complexity of product development, there are several reasons why you might want to consider contacting a food tech consultant to assist with a complex product development project:

  • Expertise: Food tech consultants have specialised knowledge and experience in the food industry, which can help navigate the unique challenges and requirements of developing food products. They can provide valuable insights and guidance throughout the product development process.

  • Efficiency: A food tech consultant can help streamline the product development process by identifying and addressing potential issues early on, reducing the risk of delays or setbacks. They can also help to ensure that the product meets all relevant regulations and standards.

  • Cost savings: Working with a food tech consultant can help to reduce the overall cost of product development by providing access to specialised expertise and resources that may not be available in-house. This can help to lower the risk of costly mistakes or rework.

  • Time savings: A food tech consultant can help to accelerate the product development process by providing the necessary resources and expertise to move the project forward efficiently. This can help to get the product to market faster and realise a quicker return on investment.

Bringing a new food product to market is no small feat, but with the right approach and support, it is definitely possible. By following a structured product development process and seeking the expertise of professionals, you can turn your food product idea into a reality.


bottom of page