Page Loading

Food Sector New Product Development process – final report


The Food Sector New Product Development (NPD) programme aimed to provide training, advice and guidance to businesses in the food sector and to establish a systematic process for NPD and a greater understanding of the NPD process. The evaluation aimed to: assess the impacts from the programme; identify potential amendments and focus of intervention; and provide recommendations.


The methodology consisted of: a commissioning meeting; a desk review; a primary review; a series of interviews with local recipients of support and stakeholders; statistical analysis and initial draft report; an interim review workshop; a strategic report; and a final review report and action plan.


Overall the services are valued by clients and provide some evidence of change in practices as a result. Suggests the programme is one of the most effective for the target market. Finds that a high proportion of clients are holding regular NPD meetings at present, 20% are in advanced development of new products and one company is pre-market testing a new product with a key client. There were no concerns over the skills of the staff involved in the current programme. Evaluation and measures of performance were not seen as effective.


Recommends that SE should establish: an up-skilling programme; a guidance pack; a checklist for measuring costs-benefits; a 'second level' programme; a review of current course information; the introduction of 'export' knowledge and use of e-commerce and ICT as effective tools; quality check procedures; an independent audit of suitability; a review of the process; a 'blue-sky' planning day; an evaluation process for the future contract; the applicability of the process to other sectors; the need for general advice; an annual 'think-tank'; an economic evaluation process; 'best practice' visits; a revisit to proposed software for NPD; and that the timings for service delivery and quality are adequate. Concludes that facilitators should not sell their services to delegates and that all participating companies develop an action plan.

Author Robert J Jackson, Jacobyte Ltd
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Sectors
    Food and drink
  • Innovation
    Business innovation, Innovation system
  • Labour Market and Skills
    Skills Development