By Debie Blair, Mondelez International
New products come out on the market all the time, and just the same, there are blogs compiling lists of the “Best” and the “Worst” of the newest products available to consumers. Recently, PopSugar put together a list of Best New Grocery Store Snacks to wrap up 2016; among the best were Chips Ahoy! Chewy Cinnamon Donut, Nabisco Good Thins Sweet Potato, and The Little Kernel Mini Popcorn Pink Himalayan Salt. While some of the products on the list are innovative concepts, most are just a new twist on an existing product in the market (e.g. Chips Ahoy has been around for years, but this is the first time it is available in Cinnamon Donut flavor).
When it comes to developing a new food product, there are two main categories: new-to-market concepts and new flavors of existing products. Of the two, new flavors often require less legwork to make the sale, but the innovative products (if done properly) may have the larger return on investment. Both categories of products are risky though, in their own ways.