We explore what NPD teams need to be doing to ensure they are best placed to get ready for future innovations.
Like most things in 2020, summer didn’t really go to plan. Back in January people were dreaming of their summer vacations, festivals and parties – all to be filled with tasty food and drink. To cater for the busy summer period, food and beverage technologists were busy developing lots of new products to help flavour the summer of 2020. Queue up a global pandemic, a severe recession and shutting down the hospitality sector for months – things didn’t really go to plan.
Along with everyone’s summer plans, also went many new exciting product launches for summer 2020. Overnight trends and strategies changed and brands needed to adapt quickly. Suddenly on-the-go and new innovative flavourings went out the window, and along came a focus on core flavour ranges and immunity trends.
New Product Development Takes a Hit
There is no hiding away from the fact that new product launches have taken a huge hit. The frightening numbers show a more than 25% decrease in worldwide launches from March – August when comparing 2020 with 2019. The beverage market seems to of held up the best with an 11% decrease in worldwide launches (Source: Innova Market Insights). Thankfully we all know this innovation isn’t going to just disappear, it will just be pushed back and adapted for the future.
Future planning has never been both so important and difficult. All the numbers are pointing to the summer of 2021 looking to be a big one. With the economy looking incredibly uncertain, people have been holding onto their cash. Once the pandemic has cooled down, consumers will start to spend and venture back out as the world begins to open up. With this will be a boom in product development for food and drink. It is important that development teams plan ahead and prepare for a big summer in 2021.
The Future Looks Tasty
With brands now looking to recoup some lost revenue and grab supermarket attention, the battle for new product development could be about to begin. Most brands are currently likely to be reviewing their ranges and getting their core range in order, but once this is done it will be time to build.
New flavour trends and flavour development will see an up rise in innovation and development for new products to try and take back some of that shelf space and grab consumer’s attention. Plant based products are also still growing at a rapid rate and sits alongside new flavour development as key areas of interest.
Focus on the Road Ahead
There is still unfortunately plenty of room for further bumps along the road. With further pandemic spikes forecast for this winter, already planned seasonal launches face the risk of being pushed back.
Here at I.T.S. we have been working closely with our customers to ensure they are best placed to deal with any changes in the market. We constantly evaluate data and new developments to ensure we are best placed to help our customers.
If you’d like to find out more please don’t hesitate to get in touch to talk to one of our team about how to best plan your flavour ranges.