Product Development Institute
Foodservice Best Practices Cover

New Product Development: Best Practices in Foodservice

Authored by: Michelle Jones
Downloadable PDF and MS Excel Workbook Templates
54 pages
Published by Stage-Gate International & International Foodservice
Manufacturers Association, 2013


$99.00 US

Now Available!

  • Overview
  • Details & Key Topics
  • Tools & Frameworks
  • Table of Contents
  • Customer Reviews
  • About the Author

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The Ultimate Guide to Successful Product Innovation in the Foodservice Industry

Product innovation has become increasingly important for foodservice companies, as executives look to drive growth in their businesses. Yet, while some foodservice companies are effortlessly producing one successful new product after another, other companies struggle with disappointment. What are these top organizations doing to consistently launch successful new products?

New Product Development: Best Practices in Foodservice uncovers how the foodservice industry approaches best practices in new product development. This groundbreaking study, in collaboration with IFMA, provides a never-before-seen view into the critical new product development practices of top-performing food industry companies. Filled with numerous company examples, tools, and frameworks to guide successful product innovation in foodservice, this report dives into the 4 key practices that drives speed-to-market, improves new product collaboration, and navigates leaders and teams through the new product development process. With data and input from 45 business leaders and innovation professionals from 25+ companies in the foodservice industry, this report is the quintessential guide for new product development in the foodservice industry, and equips executives and teams with ready-to-use tools and frameworks that can be implemented today.

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Developing and Launching Superior Products that Succeed in the Market

Despite the complexities of new product development in foodservice, there is a group of companies that achieves considerable new product success - they enjoy 22% more sales and 20% more profits from their new products than their average performing counterparts. Furthermore, they are also 7 times more likely to launch commercial successes and 3 times more likely to meet their market share and distribution objectives. These top performing companies leverage a series of best practices that enable them to quickly and judiciously select the right projects that meet their business objectives.

Leverage this report to bring significant improvements to your product innovation efforts, achieve the performance levels that drive corporate growth, and accelerate the success of your new products.

Discover the practices to establish effective project selection:

  • Instill organizational discipline around accountability, transparency, and due diligence, and capitalize on new product opportunities
  • Make project selection decisions that enable your company to prioritize and allocate scarce resources to the most promising projects
  • 4 highly effective tools that can be easily customized and implemented to facilitate timely decision-making

Develop a clear product innovation strategy that enables speed-to-market:

  • Define your company's product innovation objectives and determine how new products will enable the successful execution of your business strategy
  • A 5-step innovation strategy framework to effectively align your new product development efforts
  • Examples, visuals, and tools to communicate your product innovation strategy and enable speed to market

Unlock significant value through new product collaboration:

  • A framework for improving performance through collaboration in a highly integrated network and multi-player value chain
  • 4 types of new product collaboration relationships to consider when collaborating to develop new foodservice products
  • Screen potential partners for your product innovation projects to match business goals and complement product development capabilities.

Gain a competitive advantage through continuous learning:

  • 3 Post Launch Reviews that successful organizations conduct to learn from successes and failures of new product launches
  • Effectively use ‘Red Flags' to reduce project delays, overcome roadblocks, and increase speed to market
  • Immediately implement and benefit from guidelines, frameworks, and tools to stay one step ahead of customers and competitors and make strategic modifications to your processes

A 'Must Read' for people in these roles:

  • C-level Executives
  • R&D, Innovation, and Product Development Executives
  • Sales, Marketing, and Business Development Executives
  • Culinary Development Executives
  • Product Innovation Process Managers

About the Report:

This report is the culmination of a 3-phase research initiative between Stage-Gate International and the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) as part of the Center of Innovation Excellence (CIE), established to develop a standardized innovation framework for foodservice. Initial work (Phase 1) conducted in 2011 provided a foundational understanding of how foodservice companies and their customers innovate, which led to additional work (into Phase 2) to uncover idea-to-launch process benchmarks and performance metrics (for more information, obtain the report Foodservice New Product Development Process: Performance Benchmarks). The process benchmarks and performance metrics resulted in the prioritization of the topics of focus for this report (Phase 3): detailing best practices and actionable tools for developing new products in foodservice.

Approximately 45 business leaders and innovation professionals from 27 companies in the North American foodservice industry participated in this phase of work. Participating Manufacturers represented small and large sized organizations specializing in food & beverage packaging and equipment companies, all members of IFMA and CIE. Participating Operators represented national and regional chain in fast casual, casual, and full service segments.

The study was professionally designed and facilitated by Stage-Gate International, with advisory support from leading research and world-renowned expert in product innovation, Dr. Scott Edgett. All participants shared expertise, experience, and their organization's product innovation programs through participation in 1) facilitated roundtable workshop, 2) personal interviews, and 3) by submitting critical innovation information for the selected new product development process topics to Stage-Gate International for thorough analysis and assessment.

Founding Members of IFMA's Center of Innovation Excellence:

  • Aryzta
  • Barilla
  • Barrier Safe International
  • Basic American Foods
  • Bunge Limited
  • C.H. Guenther & Son, Inc.
  • Coca-Cola
  • ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston
  • CSM Bakery Products
  • Dannon
  • General Mills
  • Hobart (Illinois Tool Works)
  • Insight Beverages
  • International Paper
  • J.M. Smucker Company
  • J.R. Simplot
  • Kellogg Food Away From Home
  • Kerry Foodservice
  • Kraft
  • Land O’Lakes
  • Lyons Magnus
  • McCain Foods Limited
  • Nestle Professional
  • PepsiCo Foodservice
  • Procter & Gamble Professional
  • Rich Products Corporation
  • Sara Lee Foods
  • Sargento
  • SCA Tissue North America
  • Schwan’s Foodservice
  • Surlean Foods
  • Sweet Street Deserts
  • The Bama Companies
  • The Original Cakerie
  • Unilever Food Solutions
  • Ventura Foods


  • Buffalo Wild Wing Grill & Bar
  • Brinker International
  • Culver’s Franchising System
  • Del Taco LLC
  • Dunkin’ Brands
  • Perkins & Marie Callender’s Inc.
  • Red Lobster
  • Starbucks Coffee Company
  • The Wendy’s Company

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Enabling Tools and Frameworks

New Product Development: Best Practices in Foodservice comes with ready-to-use templates that enable objective project selection decisions, improves participation and alignment of stakeholders, and facilitate retrospective analysis of product development efforts that drives a continuous competitive advantage for your company.

Tools & Frameworks Included in MS Excel Workbook Template:

  1. New Product Development Project Evaluation Scorecard
    • Quantify the merits of each project and capture the guidance and rationale of each decision maker across key new product project evaluation criteria
  2. New Product Development Project Attractiveness Score
    • Focus discussion, reach alignment, and accelerate project decisions by discover and discussing points of difference between decision-makers scores on new product development projects
  3. New Product Development Partner Pyramid
    • Define the role of collaboration in supporting your new product development opportunities and identify strategic suppliers and customers to collaborate with
  4. Post-Launch Review - Project Selection
    • Discover areas of improvement in your project selection process by reviewing and discussing the key aspects of project evaluation and selection
  5. Post-Launch Review - Project Team Management
    • Uncover strengths and improvement areas in your company's new product development capabilities by assessing how well the project level activities were executed by project teams
  6. Post-Launch Review - New Product Development Process Effectiveness
    • Identify improvement opportunities to continue refining your new product development process as an enabler of the development of successful products

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Table of Contents:

  1. Executive Summary

  2. Selecting the Best New Product Projects

    • The Value of Decisions
    • Learnings from Benchmarking
    • A Framework for NPD Project Selection

  3. Clarifying Your Product Innovation Strategy

    • A Clear Innovation Strategy Enables Speed to Market
    • Communicating Innovation Strategy is as Important as Defining One
    • Align NPD Efforts Using a Simple and Effective Innovation Strategy Framework
    • Putting it all together

  4. Improving New Product Collaboration

    • Collaborating to Develop New Products
    • Learnings from Benchmarking
    • Improving Performance - A Framework for New Product Collaboration
    • Types of New Product Collaboration

  5. Enhancing NPD Capabilities through Continuous Learning

    • Getting the most out of your innovation Knowledge Capital
    • A Framework for Continuous Learning
    • Guidelines for Continuous Learning

  6. Special Note: Using Innovation Tools

  7. Methodology

    • Participants
    • Qualitative Research - Method

  8. Resources for Product Innovation Professionals

  9. Toward a Common Language for Foodservice

    • Key Terms

  10. Broaden Your Understanding

    • IFMA Center of Innovation Excellence

Exhibits and Key Benchmarking Figures:

  • Foodservice Industry Value Chain
  • Effectiveness of Decision Points (Gates)
  • Popular NPD Project Evaluation Criteria
  • Example Project Evaluation Scorecard
  • Project Attractiveness Score
  • Illinois Tool Works (ITW)’s Project Attractiveness Score/Matrix for Project Selection
  • High Level Information Needs of Decision Makers
  • Frequently Measured NPD Performance Metrics in the Foodservice Industry
  • Dunkin’ Brands Mission Statement
  • Example of Strategic Arenas
  • Example of Resource Allocations
  • Excerpt from Insight Beverages’ Product Innovation Capabilities
  • Example Table of Contents for Communicating Your Innovation Strategy
  • Impact of NPD Collaboration
  • New Product Development Partner Pyramid
  • Insight Beverages’ Collaborative Idea Generation Model
  • Tracking Customer New Product Requests
  • Example Project Selection - PLR Tool
  • Example Project Team Management - PLR Tool
  • Example NPD Process Effectiveness - PLR Tool
  • Potential List of Red Flags to Track
  • Top 5 “Red Flags” based on frequency
  • Top 5 “Red Flags” based on severity
  • Example Tool to Track “Red Flags”
  • Summary of “Red Flags” per Stage

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Customer Reviews

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“Although PepsiCo Foodservice has an innovation process, we knew that this work would refine and expand our current process, serve as a guideline for the industry to increase collaboration amongst trading partners and provide much needed best practices. With IFMA Members' guidance and Stage-Gate International's expertise, this work is sure to be an important component of any company's process, regardless of their level of sophistication or amount of resources.”
--Doug Allison, Vice President of Industry Relations, PepsiCo Foodservice

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Michelle Jones

Michelle Jones is the Executive Vice President and Chief R&D Officer of Stage-Gate® International (SGI) and is a speaker, author and consultant on the topic of product innovation. She leads the commercialization of some of the world's best practice research on product innovation into products and services for companies striving to achieve innovation excellence. Her portfolio includes strategic partnerships, product management and marketing and R&D.

Michelle has worked with an impressive portfolio of companies and has over 20 years of experience across several industries including Aerospace, Automotive, Chemical, Consumer Packaged Goods, Defense, Electronics, Energy, Food, Financial, Medical and Pharmaceutical. She has led numerous large-scale and complex Product Innovation Transformation Programs, spanning from Discovery and Stage-Gate Systems to Strategic Portfolio Management, to success.

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