Can you recall the last food prodcut that was truly innovative? What was it? If your not sure your mostlikely in the same camp that I am. Most new food prodcuts are simple line extensions or same prodcut in a new package. A colleague of mine thinks “that most innovations usually are new applications of previously invented technologies and/or processes. Truly innovative products usually find new ways to use existing inventions to improve experience of people. The confusion arises when practitioners focus on improving products rather than experience with the product, because that is where a difference between “innovation” and incremental “improvement” lives.”
Is your menu / prodcut mix a blend of brand ideation extensions or niche copy-cat prodcuts? Has your brand become static? New food prodcuts must be integrated into a dynamic brand while focusing on the consumer.
Brand managers, that subscribe to a “thought leadership” the brand is (as oppose to “customer participation” the brand will be) model, love to quote Henry Ford who supposedly said – “If I asked my customers what they want, they simply would have said a faster horse.” There is no debate that a motorized carriage was an amazing invention, which by the way was not created by Ford – he innovated scalable assembly line manufacturing, among other processes.
Breakout new products come in many cases from “outside” brands current purview. Not outside of consumers purview. Creating equilibrium between your brand and the consumer is key too a successful launch of new food items. Copy-cat products only produce subminimum results.
Since 1991 retail food consultancy Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche for more on Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® Bing or Google Grocerants or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant, twitter.com/grocerant or Facebook Steven Johnson