Fast Food Operations Dr D. Hill

Product Design and Development
Packaging of Products
Dr D. Hill
• Introduction
• Product development process
Idea generation
Idea screening
Concept development and testing
Marketing strategy development
Business analysis
Product development
Test marketing
• Packaging and issues for consideration
Types of packaging
Safety/allergy policies
Food waste
Product Development Process
Given the rapid changes in consumer tastes,
technology and competition, companies must
develop a steady stream of new products
A retailer can obtain new products in one of
three ways
(1) buying a whole company, a patent or a licence to
product someone else’s product
(2) within the company’s own Research and
Development (R& D) department
(3) Approaching suppliers and asking them to come up
with several new concepts
Product Development Process
• Launching product in today’s tough economic
climate is difficult
• Research suggests that more than 90 per cent of
all new consumer products fail within two years
• In terms of food, beverage and beauty products
are launched each year only 2 per cent of them
are considered successful
Product Development Process
• To create successful new products, a company
must understand its consumers, markets, and
• They then need to develop products that deliver
superior value to consumers
• The company needs to carry out very detailed
new-product planning
• It also needs set up a systematic new-product
development process shown in figure one
Idea Generation
• New product development starts with idea
generation - the systematic search for new-product
• A company generally has to generate many ideas
before they find a few good ones
• Major sources of new-product ideas include
internal and external sources such as consumers,
competitors, distributors and suppliers
• In some organisations they have a section
dedicated to searching for new ideas e.g. food
trends studio
Idea Screening
• The purpose of idea screening is to spot good
ideas and drop poor ones as soon as possible
• This ensures that money is saved at an early
stage and money is not wasted in later stages
• The ideas are written up on a standardised form
and include information such as product, the
target market and the competition
• It can then be evaluated against set criteria
Concept Development and Testing
• An attractive idea must be developed into a
product concept
• A company’s task is to develop the new-product
into alternative product concepts, find out how
attractive each concept is to consumers and
choose the best one
• It may be to develop a number of product
concepts e.g. chocolate bar product (see handout)
Concept Development and Testing
• The concepts may be presented to consumers
symbolically or physically
• The concept can also be presented in words (see
• The problem with this is that it can be very
detailed and also very complex
• On the other hand the product could be shown in
its physical form with the information presented
in a table
Concept Development and Testing
Figure one: Picture and table concept
45 gms
Selling price
450 Kcal
Carbohydrate 55 gms
46.3 gms
Total fat
30.2 gms
Saturated fat
7.6 gms
Marketing Strategy Development
• The next stage is introducing the product to the
• The marketing strategy statement consists of three
– target market, the planned product positioning, and the
sales, market share and profit goals for the first few years
– the product’s planned price, distribution and marketing
budget for the first year
– the planned long-term sales, profits goals and marketing
mix strategy
Business Analysis
• The company needs to evaluate the business
attractiveness of the proposal
• They will review projected sales, costs and profit
margins for a new product to determine the most
• It estimate sales it may look at the history of sales
of a similar product(s)
Product Development
• At this stage R & D develops the product concept
into a physical product
• Within the food industry kitchen trials will take
• At this stage small amounts are cooked e.g. three or
four portions
• The next stage would be factory scale where about
100 portions are produced
• If acceptable production runs would be carried out
which would be approximately 1,000 portions
Test Marketing
• If the product passes functional and consumer
tests, the next step is test marketing
• At the stage the product and marketing
programme are introduced into more realistic
market settings
• For example, Mars used N. Ireland as a test
market for their ice-cream bars
• Test marketing gives the marketer experience
with marketing the product before going into full
production of the product
Test Marketing
• Test marketing by consumer-goods companies
has been declining in recent years
• Companies often do not test-market line
extensions e.g. variations of the same product
• On the other hand some companies have come up
with novel ways of test marketing their product
• See the ‘case study’ on Innocent smoothies
• Commercialisation is the introducing the new
product to the market
• If the company goes ahead it will face high costs
• In the case of a new consumer-packaged good in
the first year it could spend between £5 million
and £100 million for advertising, sales promotion
and other marketing efforts
• The company launching the new product must
first decide on introduction timing
• Packaging will depend on the sandwich being
• For example, wraps could be packaged in
cardboard and barrier film
• Whilst wedge sandwiches are placed in the
classic clear plastic triangle packaging
• This enables the consumer to see the sandwich
without the need to read the label as they can
see the filling
Packaging continued
• The packaging needs to be made from a type of
material which is opened by all types of consumer
from the very young to the elderly
• Thus it needs to be made from a material that is
easily opened
• There is currently the trend of ‘peel and reseal’
which allows consumers to eat it at different times
• If the sandwich is redesigned or re-packaged it
must be done gradually so as consumers still
recognise it
Other types of packaging
• See table two for the main types of
packaging and the popularity of their use
– Paper and paper based products
– Metals
– Plastics
– Glass
Paper and Board Materials
• These can be produced in many grades and
converted into many forms
• It can be combined with other materials to form
a coated or laminated product see examples
• An example of where paper is used in its
thinnest form to make packaging is the ‘new’
packaging for smarties sweets
Paper and Board Materials continued
• Where heavier board material are required it can be
used as a sleeve to place around a plastic or
aluminium tray
• The sleeve can have shoulder incorporated or left
without – see examples
• In addition, cardboard can be used for a lid for
example on the top of Sainsbury’s Shepherd’s pie
• A ‘window’ can also be place in the sleeve
• Another method of allowing the consumer to view
the product is to use a partial sleeve
• Aluminium can be used as a packaging material
• It benefits include, that it is lightweight, that it
does not allow light, moisture or odours to
• It tends to be used for fizzy drinks such as Coke
• It can be moulded into trays and food products
placed inside such as lasagna
• The current trend is for the food to be cooked in
the foil tray
Metals continued
• As bread crumbed products may stick to the tray
a rippled effect on the bottom is now used
• This minimises the contact with the food product
and therefore reduces the opportunity for burning
• Metal can be laminated with a plastic coating to
protect delicate items for example, strawberries
and rice pudding
• Steel can also be coated with tin which makes it
suitable for the packaging of high acid foods
• Steel can be thermally processed for high risk
Metals continued
• When metal is used as packaging for a product
such as biscuits the plastic coated information can
be used and the tin reused
• This would usually happened with biscuits
packaged for Christmas
• The metal may be shaped into a decorative feature
so that it becomes part of the product for example
Champagne Chocolate Truffles
Metals continued
• When metal is used as packaging for a product
such as biscuits the plastic coated information can
be used and the tin reused
• This would usually happened with biscuits
packaged for Christmas
• The metal may be shaped into a decorative feature
so that it becomes part of the product for example
Champagne Chocolate Truffles
• If the sandwich is produced in a factory where
there are lots of other products, then the
manufacturer needs to examine the type of
products that are being produced
• If it is made in a factory where glass is used it
must be produced in a separate section
• It is therefore preferable to exclude glass from the
production process and substitute it with another
suitable product e.g. aluminium
Glass continued
• Where it is part of the packaging an alternative
could be sought for example, toughened glass
• For example, Northern Foods repackaged their
Tiramisu in toughened plastic sundae shaped
‘glasses’ rather than glass ramekin dishes
• Glass would have been previously used for
salad cream, tomato ketchup and fizzy drinks,
but has been replaced by plastic
• Glass now tends to be used for bottles e.g.
alcohol and sauces and jams
• No two plastics are identical in their properties
• Most are light weight and do not allow moisture
or gas to pass through
• They are resistant to bacteria and provide food
• They can be of several grades and thickness and
van be shaped and moulded
Plastics continued
• Foods which could be placed in a metal tray can
generally be placed in a a plastic tray
• They can be made in a variety of colours
depending on the current trend
• The current trend is black trays whereas, before it
would have been white or cream
• Where the consumer needs to see the product it
can be placed in a clear plastic tray and a clear
outer plastic used for example, crispy potato
Plastics continued
• Plastic trays can be moulded so that they can
hold a plastic pouch
• For example, steaks with a plastic pouch of
pepper sauce
• The advantage of the pouch is that it is
• In addition, a thinner plastic can be used to cover
the plastic tray in which the food is placed
• A moisture mat can be added to absorb liquids so
as to prevent the deterioration in the product
Plastics continued
• Thin plastics are also used to cover product
where it is the only protective covering for
example, biscuits e.g. Digestives
• The advantage is that all the product information
can be printed on to the plastic
• It offers little protection, however, and the
biscuits can get broken and you cannot see the
Plastics continued
• Premium priced biscuits are placed in a heaver
plastic container for each biscuit and then
covered in a thinner plastic
• This is then placed in a cardboard box for
example, Milk chocolate toffee covered biscuits
• The current trend is for foil wrap to seal in the
freshness or to place them in a tub – see example
• Before producing any product it is necessary to
ensure you have a recognisable brand name,
logo and slogan
• You must ensure that any proposed name is not
already registered
• There are a number of specialist agencies who
can ascertain if the name is already registered
• You also must comply with the Trade Marks
Act (1994) to ensure your product and
packaging is different enough from a competing
Legality continued
• By law you need to ensure the ‘big four’ are
included on the label
• Some companies include the full eight
• If you are going to enter the low fat market you
need to conform to the Food Standards Agency
(FSA) regulations in terms of ‘Low fat’
• If you are going to enter the organic market you
may wish to have your product endorsed by
The Soil Association
Legality continued
• Your product may not need a new brand name as
it may be a sub-brand or be launched under an
existing brand name
• In terms of legality you must ensure that the
ingredients list incorporated on the packaging is
• The ingredients should be listed from the one
that is in greatest proportion to the least
Safety/Allergy policies continued
• The packaging needs to be tamper proof from
production to final sale
• This is to ensure that ‘foreign objects’ cannot be
placed in the sandwich thereby creating a food scare
• This would result in food having to be recalled
• Retailers now provide ‘products’ such as toys which
appeal to children, also must be safe
• If it is produced in a factory where nuts are present
the sandwiches need to be labelled ‘may contain
traces of nuts’
Food waste
• Food waste analysis needs to be carried out at
various stages of the process
• A food producer needs to determine if it is more
cost effective to buy in products pre-prepared
• During the manufacturing, food waste will be
collected at various stages of production
• If this is excessive management need to
determine how this can be minimised or
Food waste continued
• Customers can add to food wastage
• They can try to view a sandwich to see how well
it is filled, thus damaging the packaging
• Therefore the product has to be discarded
• Many retailers operate a ‘chill chain’
• This ensures all high risk products such as
sandwiches must not be out of chilled
conditions for more than 30 minutes allowing
the temperature to rise above 5oC
• Transporting food from where it is produced to
where it is sold can also generate food waste
• Food needs to be handled at various stages of
• It needs to be loaded onto lorries, transported on
ferries, off loaded at distribution centres
reloaded onto smaller van(s) to be distributed to
various outlets
• The food needs to be placed on the shelf for sale
to the consumer
• If the food is damaged in any way customers will
not purchase it
• Travel/drop test also need to be carried out to test
how much maltreatment a product can withstand
during transport
• The logistics of route to market need to be
• In the case of the video, the order was received
on day one, produced on day two and dispatched
on day three
• Figure two shows a Gantt chart for sandwich
preparation and dispatch based on this principle
Logistics continued
• This is a simple forward-front approach of
production to sale
• If it was for a special occasion or a particular
time of the year it needs to take a back-the-front
• For example, Marks and Spencer adopt this for
products such as party food for Christmas and
the New Year
• They identify the date of launch and then work
back through delivery time to how long it will
take to produce, which determines when
production has to commence

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