Consumer-Oriented New Product Development Process

New product development process can be seen as an organizational process in which information about the market and its actors can be gathered, assimilated, processed and returned in the shape of a new product or service (Costa 2003). This process can be recognized as a vital strategy of the market-oriented companies “which have committed themselves to the continuous generation and internal dissemination of market intelligence relevant to the current and future needs of their customers, as well as to the continuous improvement of their responsiveness to such needs” (Kohli and Jaworski, 1990). However, the generation of market intelligence by the food industry remains very scarce and mostly accidental. Moreover, in practice, most food companies rely on retailers to obtain information about their end users; consequently, truly market-oriented food companies are very rare in Europe (Costa, 2003).

The key stages in the formulation of the consumer-oriented NPD concept (Figure 4.2.1.1) are in accordance with the market-oriented approach, including: need identification, idea development to fulfill the need, product development to substantiate the idea, and the product's market introduction, communicating the fulfillment a need (Urban and Hauser, 1993). The idea is to “translate” the subjective consumer needs into objective product specifications, in order to, through the creation of the core product, substantiate the fulfillment of these needs (Costa 2003). It is believed that such a consumer-oriented approach can sufficiently increase the likelihood of success of the NPD process (Bont 1996; Grunert et al., 1996; Dahan and Hauser 2002). Another way to implement this approach can be achieved in the reverse process—to communicate the new developed product through the product specific characteristics to the specific consumer needs and wants. According to Kelvin Lankaster's the Product Attributes Model (Lankaster 1966), consumer preferences concern not the product as a whole but just the specific product's attributes and the benefits that they contribute to the

Consumer-oriented new product development concept. Source

Figure 4.2.1.1 Consumer-oriented new product development concept. Source: adapted from Urban and Hauser (1993).

consumer. This concept can be applied for products with specific characteristics and content, as well as value-added products, as food products, health products, organic products, and so on. The food industry (e.g., the dairy industry) currently possesses a low degree of market orientation (Grunert et al., 1996) needed to implement the consumer-oriented approach in the NPD process in order to gain innovative and differentiated food products with high added value.

 
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