New product development (NPD) is essential for business success and growth. High- to medium-technology manufacturing sectors have introduced standard models. The adaptation of these systematic NPD procedures supported by appropriate decision support tools has provided significant benefits in production cost, product quality and supply chain availability. However, the challenges involved in NPD of food are rapidly increasing due to consumer demand for organic and healthy diets, in particular, more nutritious low-calorie food, and preference for customised and personalised food products. This has resulted in a proliferation of new varieties, types and shapes of food products that are constantly introduced. Most of these new products are developed based on company-specific ad hoc NPD procedures, within small to medium enterprises that form the biggest proportion of food producers in most developed countries. This highlights a need for further research into novel NPD methods and tools in the food sector. This communication provides an overview of the NPD processes, analyses their strengths and shortcomings and outlines critical missing capabilities for food manufacturers in specific.
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