Launching a new product is an exciting time for food manufacturers.
With a new product, you broaden your merchandise line-up, thereby increasing your chances of gaining more customers. Moreover, you provide value to your consumers.
By introducing an additional food product, you also get to show your creativity. This is an excellent way to boost your brand and keep the interest of your loyal and new customers.
All these can translate to higher revenues for your business.
However, introducing a new food product in an already competitive market requires a lot of careful thinking, planning, and hard work. Selecting the right flavour for your offering will already take up plenty of your time.
When you choose the wrong flavour for your product, there is a chance that it won’t resonate with the consumers and sell. As a result, all the time and money you put into development and manufacturing will be useless.
If you want to launch a new product but are having difficulties choosing which flavour to showcase, follow these steps shared by leading savoury food manufacturers:
Conduct market research
Knowing your market is the first important step companies have to take when manufacturing any kind of product. When you gather sufficient information about your target customers, you will be able to narrow down your flavour choices.
To identify the best flavour for your new offering, research the market thoroughly. Find out which ones are popular among your target consumers.
Also, look into flavours that are trending in other states or countries that are not yet available in your area. Think about what appeals to you as well. Conduct a simple survey to find out if people are interested in them.
You will do well to think about using them in your product so that you have something new and unique to offer.
Additionally, while conducting research, look into any local and state food manufacturing and distribution laws that could impact your new product.
Lastly, look into and estimate the costs involved in the production of your new product.
When you conduct your market research thoroughly, you will get all the information you need to shortlist your options efficiently.
Review the five types of taste
Consumers are always looking for food products that have a balanced taste.
You can create a product that wins consumers by understanding the different types of taste and finding a way to balance them.
The five basic tastes are:
If you plan to create a savoury product, you have to know which ingredients to use and how much sweet, salty, and sour elements to add to balance the flavour. When you do, you will have a new offering that will tickle the taste buds of consumers.
On the other hand, if you want to add a type of pastry to your line-ups, you have to make both savoury and sweet elements work together. Adding jam or jelly to bread and biscuits ensures that consumers enjoy these two flavour profiles.
Regardless of how long you have already been in the food business, understanding the different types of tastes and how to balance them can ensure you come up with a winning product. An excess of any of the basic flavours in any food can turn off consumers and be detrimental to its success.
Consider seasonal flavours
Research shows that there is a market for seasonal flavours all year round. Even after summer, people still often crave fresh and grilled proteins and produce. Beverages with hints of pumpkin and maple also remain popular even after fall.
Due to this reason, consider introducing a product showcasing a seasonal flavour.
If you are taking this route, it would be best to start with established seasonal flavours. If you want to create a food product for fall, you won’t go wrong with pumpkin, apple, and maple. For winter, cranberries, peppermint, and chestnuts are classic favourites.
Next, consider your brand and target market and the associations they have with the flavour to boost your chances of having a popular product.
Study the flavours you want to use
Once you have narrowed down your list to two or three options, get to know the different tastes they offer.
Keep in mind that flavours have different types. For instance, ripe strawberries are sweeter and juicier, while wild and seedy ones are a bit sour.
While familiarising yourself with these flavours, find out what you can get from manufacturers. Can you obtain extracts or essences?
Also, check if there are manufacturers that can customise flavours based on your requirements for your products. If you need them in powder or liquid form, find out beforehand as well.
Find out if you can use natural ingredients
With more and more consumers becoming health conscious, you will do well to use flavours that can be manufactured without unhealthy additives.
This is because customers are now gravitating towards products with simple, natural ingredient lists that are not excessively processed.
Using ingredients such as salt, fats, and sugars that are organic or less refined can answer the consumers’ need for healthier food products. Moreover, when you get the flavour right, you can offer buyers food that tastes the same as those from other brands, or even better.
If you want to use ingredients that are “low fat” or “low sugar,” look for ones that can be naturally manufactured as well.
Don’t forget the aftertaste
For some products, aftertaste is a crucial element that makes them stand out. It is often a key factor for certain beverages, such as ready-to-drink coffee and chocolate.
Because of this, you will do well to think about the aftertaste of your new product.
The aftertaste is the intensity of taste that is perceived immediately after the food or beverage is swallowed or leaves the mouth. It is measured by its quality, intensity, and duration.
Ensure the aftertaste is well-balanced and complements the overall flavour of the product. It should not be excessively bitter, sweet, salty, or sour. Aim to leave a pleasant, memorable impression on the consumer that encourages them to take another sip or bite.
Ensure the flavours match the consumers’ expectations
Lastly, ensure your product has a well-balanced flavour that meets the consumers’ expectations.
If the taste and sensory expectations do not match, the likelihood of product success is poor since the signals will confuse the consumers.
This means that if you want to launch a chocolate candy bar or beverage, unless it is dark, you don’t want it to taste it too bitter.
Keep in mind that if there is a mismatch between the taste and consumer expectations, you create a lack of trust in the product, which the customers will dislike.
Developing a new product is never easy. However, by selecting the right flavour, you can expect fewer difficulties along the way.
Lamia Rochdi is the Marketing Manager at Bell Flavors & Fragrances EMEA. A successful family-owned business, Bell’s core competencies include customized solutions for the food and beverages industry, the household and personal care sector, and the perfume industry.