Developing a product that meets consumer wants and needs is the essence of successful business development. In today’s complex and fast-changing world, creating a product with the desired attributes and the modifications needed to meet changing consumer demand is critical.
Successfully creating a product that reflects your new product concept and meets your cost parameters is challenging. You may want to compare the attributes of your product against those of your competitors. Taste tests are commonly used in value-added food businesses. These can be done simply by yourself or a company can be hired to do a thorough analysis.
Packaging is an important part of product development. The purpose of a package is to protect the product from spoiling and keep it clean until it is opened by the consumer. Many producers overlook the importance of product packaging, but this is the first thing consumers see. When the package is appealing, consumers are more likely to buy it. As long as the anticipated quality is there, consumers will be satisfied. They will buy the product in the package they like and will not buy it in one they do not like, even though the product is the same.
The consumer decides the size of package most suited to each product. Consumers are more likely to buy smaller food packages of items that are used occasionally. They will buy large packages of items used frequently and in a relatively short time, if the product remains safe to use during this period. Most plant and animal products must be packaged appropriately to be preserved.
For more information on this topic, see the links listed below of articles posted on related Web sites.
Understanding Product Development
- Product – Small Business Notes -- Products may be described in terms of their features and benefits.
- Importance of New Products – CCH Business Owner’s Toolkit -- Today's accelerated rate of change and information growth means small companies will inevitably face increased competition in their market niches.
- Generating New Product Ideas – CCH Business Owner’s Toolkit -- Categories of new product development.
- New Product Concept Screening – CCH Business Owner’s Toolkit -- There are as many methods to screen new product ideas as there are consultants.
- New Product Prototypes – CCH Business Owner’s Toolkit -- Successfully creating a real-life product that mirrors your new product concept and meets your company's cost parameters is difficult.
- Measuring Success of New Products – CCH Business Owner’s Toolkit -- Once you've introduced a new product or service or developed significant improvements to existing ones, you'll naturally want to do some followup to measure the success of the project.
- How Can I Measure the Volume Potential for a New Product or Service – Urban Wallace Associates -- Reliably estimating the business potential of a new product or service is a complex, multi-step process.
- Product & Brand Failures: A Marketing Perspective – Mplans.com -- Product and brand failures occur on an ongoing basis to varying degrees within most product-based organizations.
- When Bad Ideas Won't Die – HBS Working Knowledge -- Why do smart companies put so much energy into doomed products? By profiling two French companies' experiences with failed projects, Royer gets at some surprising answers: Belief and faith triumph over reason.
- Package Design – CCH Business Owner’s Toolkit -- Packaging can be simple cardstock tags printed or stamped in black ink (e.g., on machinery, tools, clothing, etc.), or unique, one-of-a-kind containers that are more valuable than their product contents.
- Testing Packaging, Pricing and Ads – CCH business Owner’s Toolkit -- Many companies, large and small, spend years successfully developing a new product with great market promise but do not adequately test their packaging, pricing and advertising prior to introduction.
- Packaging Strategies – The leading global information source on packaging technology, business and markets.
- Food Labeling Made Simple – Oklahoma State University Extension -- Food labeling in the United States is mandated under two federal agencies, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The FDA is responsible for food labeling regulations on all food products except meat and poultry items, which are regulated under FSIS and administrated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
- Contract Manufacturing & Packaging Association – This organization provides a list of members at this Web site and information on what to look for when considering an outsource packaging service.
- Packaging Digest – This packaging industry publication provides a list of companies that provide contract packaging services. It is searchable by name or state.
- Packexpo.com – This online packing industry resource provides news and links to packaging products and suppliers.
- Food Labeling Made Simple – Oklahoma State University Extension -- Food labeling in the United States is mandated under two federal agencies, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).
- What’s on a Label – University of Georgia Extension -- Food products that are placed into commerce for marketing and sales are required by federal and state law to have a label on the container.
- Food Labeling Procedures – USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) -- Meat, poultry and egg product establishments are responsible for accurately labeling their product for human consumption. All labels must be approved by the FSIS Labeling and Consumer Protection Staff.
- A Food Labeling Guide – U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) -- A summary of the required statements that must appear on food labels under these laws and their regulations.
- Small Business Food Labeling Exemption – U.S. FDA -- Information sheet and sample small business exemption application form.
- Food Labeling Questions and Answers: Vol. 1 – U.S. FDA -- Nutrition labeling for foods other than dietary supplements.
- Food Labeling Questions & Answers: Vol, 2 – U.S. FDA -- A guide for restaurants and other retail establishments.
- FDA Nutrition Labeling Manual – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services -- A guide for developing and using databases.
- Food Labeling and Nutrition – U.S. FDA -- Information for the industry.
- New Product Guidelines – National Pork Board in cooperation with the American Meat Science Association, March 2002.
- Implementing a recall Program for Small Processors – National Pork Board and American Meat Science Association -- This research-based fact sheet outlines how to implement a product recall program.
- Making a Product Liability Claim – Lawyers.com -- If you’ve been injured by a product, anything from matches to an airplane, you may have a liability case against the product’s manufacturers and distributors.
- Warranties – Lawyers.com -- Warranties are promises that a business owner makes to stand by his product and protect consumers against damages or injuries caused by defective products.
- Warranties – Federal Trade Commission -- When you make a major purchase, the manufacturer or seller makes an important promise to stand behind the product.
- Writing Readable Warranties – Federal Trade Commission -- A guide on writing a warranty.