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doi:10.1094/CFW-61-6-0259 | VIEW ARTICLE


Approaches to Product Development and Innovation

Stanley P.Cauvain

BakeTran, Witney, U.K. spc@baketran.demon.co.uk. Cereal Foods World 61(6):259-260.

In this column Cauvain describes the drivers behind and processes involved in product development and innovation in the baking industry. There are many drivers behind innovation and the development of new products, including quality optimization, reduction of product variability, optimization of process efficiency, and reduction of manufacturing costs. In some cases, we are forced to innovate because of external pressures on raw material availability and pricing; new government regulations; or changes in consumer demands. The processes associated with innovation are more singular—at least to the extent that they comprise having an idea, trying out different ideas, and moving progressively upward in scale. Ultimately the human factor in new product development remains a critical factor. This is especially true for innovation, which often requires thought processes that involve “breaking the rules” or “thinking outside the box.” The process of innovation requires the assembly of a wide range of knowledge tools. To achieve your development aims, adequate resources need to be made available; in addition to the obvious financial and human resource requirements, access to relevant knowledge is necessary. It is the availability of the latter and a modicum of imagination that will lead to true innovation.

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