Four questions to ask before launching a new food product

I’m still using my bag of goodies from the Fancy Food Show as a footrest. I’ve got literature, free samples and branded pencils galore. The big question is, which of these new products will prove worthy of rising the ranks and lining the supermarket shelves? It’s not as simple as making some of Grammy’s special sauce and slapping a label on the jar.
If you want to make sure you have a marketable food product ask yourself these questions before committing yourself to the fight for shelf space.

1. Does this product have a reason for being? Does it solve a problem, compete with a lesser product that is already on the market or make sense for a certain portion of the population? Creative Snack Co.’s Broccoli Chips with White Cheddar are not only a delicious replacement for potato chips, but also a healthier kid-friendly alternative that moms can feel good about serving. Score one for them.

2. Do people know how to eat it? Unless you have a budget for consumer education, it helps to offer a product that people can understand. California Lavash offers a great flatbread alternative to wraps and tortillas that Americans have been eating for years. It’s an easy swap for a slight twist on the norm. Bingo.

3. Does it taste good? Sure, this one is subjective, but really, we don’t need another salad dressing on the shelves if it doesn’t knock our socks off. Same goes for energy drinks, sausages, snacks and pretty much anything else that fills your grocery cart. Experimenting with new current combinations of flavors like harissa and pepitas give Sahale Snacks the edge when it comes to new news in the nut category.

4. Are there others in the category? A few competitors are good, but a saturated market is not. If you stand alone in a category, it’s sometime difficult for consumers to figure you out. Too many competitors means that you may just be adding to the clutter. Specific messaging, positioning and strategic packaging can help out in this situation if your product is good enough.
Do you think you have what it takes? Then we say let the food fight begin!

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