It can be difficult to come up with a great new product idea right away. It is easier to work through a few steps, thinking about what is new and of interest to consumers throughout the process.
Current Food Trends
To get started coming up with a new product concept, it is important to understand current trends and the target markets for those trends. Search for and read through various trend materials. You are encouraged to do your own searching. Take notes on what trends are new flavors, new combinations of existing products (think Starburst jelly beans), new ingredients, and completely new products. This will be a good start in the brainstorming process.
Trend Resources – the following publications, professional organizations, and companies typically publish trend articles each year:
- Food and Wine
- Prepared Foods
- Institute of Food Technologists
- National Restaurant Association
- Kerry Consumer Insights
- US Foods
It can be difficult to come up with the best new food product idea in a short amount of time, especially while in a new team. Great ideas take time. Starting to think about new ideas ahead of time will make deciding on a new food product concept easier.
Spend some time thinking about the trends you researched, the food you know and are interested in, and the food products you would like to buy in the grocery store but are currently unavailable. Then give ideation a try and come up with at least two new food concepts. You will not be tied to these ideas and you can continue to think about new ideas, but this will give you a couple of places to start.
Here are some recommendations to maximize the ideation process once you meet with your team.
- Come prepared. Research as many trends as you can, bring notes, and spend time thinking of new product ideas in detail.
- Be open to all ideas. Everyone in the team needs to feel safe to share their ideas. Plus, sharing ideas can lead to additional ideas!
- If you get stuck with either your ideation or the team’s ideation, use the MindMapping and/or SCAMPER methods shared in the Creativity Chapter.