Consumer innovation and behaviour is a key area of consideration in food NPD. Reacting to market forces and developing a new food product is not where innovation ceases, innovation has to extend into its marketing.
Evidently interpreting whether a consumer is going to buy into a new food product is much more complex than it would first appear. “Understanding whether and why consumers will adopt a new product or service is a critical insight for managers involved in marketing innovations”. For this reason, marketers and the NPD team must address what we know as Five stages of new product adoption.
Kotler categorized the five stages as:
Initially, awareness in a new food product will be that a consumer is aware of the product but doesn’t know very much about it. Next interest is the stage where a consumer will search for knowledge of the food product. Meanwhile, with an evaluation of the consumer is deciding or weighing up should they try a new product. Finally, upon making that decision, taking the next steps is trial and then adoption. In consumer adoption, the last step will influence or contribute to the commercial success of new products.
These are crucial steps because they will play a pivotal role in commercial market viability. Which may explain why, according to Bord Bia “Eight out of every 10 new food products globally disappear from the shelves within six months of launch”
At the heart of a prosperous company is forming a relationship with the customer to understand what they do and why they do it.