Consumer buying behavior has changed tremendously in industrialized countries. Food industries try their best to adapt but raw material price increases, tighter regulations, higher energy and labor cost and health scandals make the challenge extremely difficult to overcome. Most food industries and new businesses focus now on entry-level products, especially in countries with high consumer debt (USA, UK, Spain, Denmark, Europe…). Some other food industries choose to turn to quality or niche products with aggressive marketing campaigns enabling them to limit the decline in sales volumes and remain profitable. For these companies, innovation is key to keep high margins. A good example is the Greek Yogurt trend, which shows a double digit growth for a few years.
Innovation : from simplicity and authenticity …
At the beginning, Greek yogurts were surfing on the wave of ‘healthy & natural’. Consumers were eager for healthier choices that tasted good. Greek yogurts are different from standard yogurts, in that they are thick, creamy and less tart yogurt made with buttermilk cultures. The trend also spread knowing it was high in protein. It represents a pleasant break, healthy and gourmet.
… To tremendous innovation
The Greek yogurt market explosion is impressive especially in the US and the UK. Lots of new businesses opened and existing dairy products manufacturers developed new products to target this new fruitful market. As a very trendy, ‘hipster’ market, innovation is the spearhead of success.
Innovation in diet products
Non-fat Greek yogurt is the first in the U.S. market. The target consumers are concerned about health and are ready to pay more for a quality product. As it appears on organic supermarket shelves, it also has to have its diet version.
Innovation in flavor
The next generation of products is getting more sophisticated through the addition of flavorful ingredients. Unusual flavors are part of the Greek yogurt market innovation: fig, rhubarb, pomegranate, honey, cinnamon, salted caramel, truffle…
Innovation in packaging
Individual sizes, family sizes, tubs, sticks, bars, even frozen, Greek yogurt products could be found in a variety of packaging. Size, type, material, colors…, for trendy product, packaging plays an important role. It is crucial to understand that innovation could be in the product itself or regarding the presentation.
Innovation in distribution
Greek yogurt began in organic farm shops and has spread to supermarkets. It could now be found now also in the food service category as light desert, gourmet break, or in recipes, especially in salsa composition.
In this kind of market, innovation is part of survival. Beneficiating from an overview of different aspects (schedules, resources, budgets …) in food management project is essential to manage the risks and carry out the launch of new products.
An effective PLM, such as Lascom CPG, can help food industries to innovate and remain competitive on the marketplace by:
– overseeing the development and launch of new products
– ensuring collaboration between different departments while developing a new product (definition, specification, price, packaging…)
– reducing time to market & risks
– consolidating product information and providing reports