Innovation helps to develop more effective products, processes and services, as well as generate new areas of business. There are many reasons why a business may want to innovate. External drivers include competition, lower costs, demand, economic forces, social change and demographics. Equally important are the internal drivers, which include improved product quality and improved profitability.
In a 2017 survey of our members, 55% said that innovation was one of their company’s priorities and 80% said they reviewed their innovation pipeline on a regular basis. However, time and resource were common barriers to innovation, as were facilities and generating ideas and only 28% said innovation was a top priority.
Top three criteria for successful innovation
In many companies, more than half of revenue comes from products that were not in the product line five years earlier, so it’s important that new product development is done right.
Innovation can only be successful if it meets all three of these criteria:
- Desirability – a new product has to be desirable for a consumer to buy it
- Feasibility – a product has to be producible at a commercial scale
- Viability – to be a success the product has to make money
The innovation process
Innovation is important for the entire food and drink chain from ingredient and packaging suppliers, food manufacturers and retail and food service to providers of analysis and testing equipment.
Innovation isn’t a linear process and combines consumer insight with strategy. Initially an understanding of the market and competitors is needed before coming up with ideas that can be turned into prototypes and be tested. The prototype is then scaled up to a manufacturing scale and the product’s quality and safety must be assessed. The regulatory requirements and shelf life must also be considered.
A scientific and technical understanding is needed for all aspects of innovation. We’ve helped hundreds of business – from small companies to giant multinationals – to develop successful new products.