It’s widely accepted that around 8 out of 10 new product launches in the food sector fail in the first year. This is very costly and this cost is ever more difficult to sustain given the margin pressures on food businesses today.
So much of this NPD failure is avoidable and consumer research is one of the most powerful weapons to help with this. Amazingly, too many new products still get launched without the benefit of any consumer research input. Is it any surprise that so many new launches fail?
If an NPD project is not deemed to be worth researching, it’s reasonable to ask whether a business should really be doing it at all. Try the following 10 questions about how your business uses consumer research in new product development:
1. What is your NPD failure rate?
2. How much is new product failure costing your business?
3. How much of your NPD gets done with no use of consumer research?
4. Is a requirement for consumer research evidence included in your NPD approval processes?
5. Is research used sufficiently in the early stages (where it can make most difference) or mostly in the later stages to check/prove you have got it right?
6. When consumer research indicates that an NPD concept is flawed, do you normally discontinue the project or press on regardless?
7. Have you got the right balance between using research to help the creative process (boosting the crop of good ideas) versus using it for screening/filtering ideas?
8. Do you use research in an iterative way (repeated small amounts) to optimise execution?
9. Is research being used in a transparent way to get buy-in to both “go” and “no-go” decisions?
10. Is your NPD research conducted in a way that accelerates projects and reduces time-to-market, or the reverse?
Following through on the answers to these questions should help to point out some areas for focus. If you would like a little more guidance, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Jonathan.firstname.lastname@example.org