Whether driven by the need to capture more market share or changing regulations, food processing companies use research and development to create new products and processes. For example, Sargento expanded its cheese-focused business to include new products like nuts and chocolate. Athens Foods created gluten free phyllo dough, and Lundberg Family Farms added more products like frozen bowls and tortilla chips. These changes earned the companies the 2019 R&D Teams of the Year designation, according to the magazine Food Processing.
These innovative companies are just a few of the pioneers in the food processing space. What are the major R&D trends shaping the industry right now?
The processed food industry is a highly competitive industry with thousands of different businesses vying for their share of the market. That many businesses means competition is fierce. Nearly half (43 percent) of Food Processing’s 2019 R&D Trends Report respondents reported experiencing steadily increasing pressure to get products to market more quickly.
That pressure can be attributed to that stiff competition from companies large and small, as well as private label offerings, according to the Food Processing Trends Report. R&D teams are being pushed to produce new ideas so they are not left behind, according to the report.
Where do food processing R&D teams get their ideas for new products? The majority (78 percent) turn to general market research, according to the Food Processing Trends Report. Some of the biggest areas for new ideas in food processing could be:
New products are clearly an important piece of food processing strategy, but who is actually responsible? More than half of companies report having a formal product development team, according to the Food Processing Trends Report. The report lists key players on those teams, including research and development, marketing, manufacturing, corporate management, purchasing, consultants, suppliers, and finance.
As food processing companies search for new product ideas, it is important to keep food grade compliance in mind. AmCraft offers industrial curtain walls that adhere to FDA and USDA regulations. These curtain walls effectively separate work spaces within a facility, enabling teams to spend less time worrying about compliance and more time on production of both existing products and brand new ones. Learn more about AmCraft’s food grade curtains.