CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION
Aims and objectives of the product development project
The aim of this project is to design a chilled dessert for the healthy eating sector. It must have some nutritional advantages over other products available in order to achieve sustainable competitive advantage in the niche market.
As highlighted by Earle and Earle (1999) the product development programme encompasses product improvement, product line extension and product re launch as well as product innovation. Fuller (1994) added to these variations of a new product, he pointed out that re-formulation of existing products has a high probability of technical success. For this reason, this method of new product development was utilised in the project. It was decided to make a variation of a dessert that is not associated with healthy eating so the consumer can enjoy something which is usually associated with indulgence without feeling guilty. Therefore, the specific objectives for this project are as follows:
* Comparison of competing healthy eating desserts.
* To investigate the market potential for a chilled, healthy eating dessert.
* To assemble, specify, and test a process to produce the product.
* To assess the consumer acceptance of the product.
* To formulate a product that will meet the need of the specified market segment.
* To prepare definitive costings' and price the product.
* To plan the market strategy for the final product.
Research into the principles and procedures of new food product development was undertaken in order to satisfy the aim of the project, this was done using books, journals and websites. Primary data aided the sensory analysis, this was completed with the use of questionnaires distributed a taste panel on 28th March 2006. In order to obtain maximum validity and reliability of the data, a cross section of males and females and different age groups were respondents in the primary research, this would also aid in establishing which types of people would exploit a dessert such as this.
Questionnaires were utilised for the collection of primary data, as they are relatively cheap to produce and objective rather than subjective, Cohen et al (2000). Questionnaires are also easy to analyse which aided in the analysis of the taste panel results.
Constraints are any factors which define the area of the project, and usually fall within product, processing, marketing, financial and environment. As Earle and Earle (1999) point out if the constraints are very tight then the opportunity for creativity is reduced. Therefore, the following constraints have been identified for this project:
* The product must be chilled.
* The product must be available in one portion size.
* The product must comply with food regulations of the UK
* The product shall be marketed in the UK as a chilled, healthy eating dessert.
* Shelf life must be taken into consideration.
* Market position in the chilled cabinet must be taken into...