Food Product Development: A Modern Tale Of How Packaged Food Is Manufactured
How food reaches consumers looks different than it did 15 months ago. People locked inside their houses have been cooking from home more than ever. The delicious homemade food can be imperfect sometimes, and imperfect does not mean bad. The icing on the cake is that we know what went inside our meals. The food product development industry has hit the reset button to accommodate the changes and prepare for unprecedented future shifts.
The grocery stores are swamped with new emerging food brands on a quotidian basis leaving consumers in a quandary of mixed choices. The pivotal impetus that brought a major transformation in the producer-consumer relationship is the need for transparency. The brand that a consumer eats, drinks or wears reflects their personal choices. Corporate transparency, sustainability efforts and high ethical values are a few attributes required to attain consumer confidence. Consumers acknowledge their purchasing autonomy more than ever. The payment invoices are analogies to “casting a vote,” supporting the companies that orient with ethical beliefs and hope for the future. To sustain the beliefs of their existing customers and targeting the novel audience, viable and systematic changes are the established norm to stay competitive. Food scientists are changing their manufacturing modus operandi and raw material sourcing to fit in with the evolving requirements and “trends” of consumers.
a)Scheming the “ideation.”
It is the first step; you need to recognize what your brand stands for. Who is the targeted audience and customer? It would be best if you have a rough blueprint of the flavour, production style and how these foster the customer’s focal point. This is based on marketing research, examining consumer behaviour and identifying customer needs in the current market.
This step involves designing the “epitome” of what the product will look like and taste like. In this phase, the company reviews product design concepts and then selects the design that best fulfils the parameters determined by the company. The prototype development is generally performed under the supervision of a team that expertise not only in culinary art but also beholds a deep understanding of food science.
This process involves taste testing of the product to configure its taste, texture, appearance and smell. This step is undertaken by an existing team of the organization. This step is completed after the relevant feedback and establishing the ideal standard for the product.
d)Experimental Plant Testing
After the prototype parameter is set, the product is examined on a larger scale. There are possibilities that the properties of the product may change as one scales up the functioning unit. Cooking conditions and time, the ratio of seasoning and ingredients may switch as external factors may change the specifications of the product. Testing on a larger scale allows you to press necessary corrective actions before progressing operations any further. Until desired results are met, the plant-scale testing process continues.
e)Product verification by consumer
The internal verification process is a risky business. The results evaluated by your team members could be biased or manipulated. Therefore, consumers should be given a chance to taste the product and provide you with civil feedback. This could be undertaken by inviting a group of target customers to taste-test and examine the properties of the product. It could be done in the form of questionnaires or assessments. Other feasible testing methods would include conducting street taste tests or sending products to the home of the target consumer.
f) Manufacture and distribution
The customer feedback provides viable information that is utilized to make modifications in the product to ensure it satisfies the parameters sustained by the consumers and the market competition. Post the customer feedback, and you are ready to launch your product on the market to test the waters. A promising product advertising campaign paves the way for your product to reach the target audience. Examine the sales performance periodically and maintain an equilibrium between the current market trends and plan a course of action accordingly.
Culinary expertise goes a long way in the domain of food product management. We at Food Scientist For Hire customize our consultancy services which do not burn a hole your pockets. From product development to regulatory advice, we got you covered. “We create together” sublime yield by manifesting innovative ideas with food technology.