#DitchTheDesk: What is NPD?

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The #DitchtheDesk campaign continues to highlight career opportunities within the supply chain, check out this article and previous editions to find the right path for you.

Have you ever fancied the idea of being the brains behind innovative supermarket products? If you think you’ve got what it takes, read on!

What is NPD?

New product development, NPD or food product development, is all about creating a desirable good and getting it to the market. This encompasses creative idea generation, extensive research, coordinating resources and marketing the product. Every item on the supermarket shelves has gone through rigorous testing and it is the people working within NPD that mastermind this. An example of the success of NPD is the response to the rising trend in on-the-go food, operatives have worked hard to satisfy this need with the ‘meal deal’ and microwaveable bites.

The Importance

  • Consumer: The food retail sector is highly condensed, having a product that increases brand loyalty is a major boost to any business.
  • Competitiveness: NPD doesn’t always mean re-inventing the wheel, refreshing a product’s design can help the company maintain demand for their produce.
  • Health: NPD allows for the creation of healthier options, drawing in greater customer numbers.
  • Resources: Keeping waste levels as low as possible and continuously looking to improve on this is key, especially in world that is becoming more focussed on sustainability.

The Skills Required

  • Creative thinking: Generating fresh ideas is vital.
  • Market Research: Ability to identify consumer trends.
  • Problem solving: Coping with challenges during the development process.
  • Project Management: Coordinating resources like labour, time and money to get the product to market in an efficient manner.
  • Technical skills: To design production lines, further automation and formulate innovative packaging, for example.