August 4/Bensenville, Ill./Prepared FoodsMagazine -- A survey of food manufacturers shows that product development times, from product concept to commercialization, have slowed in the last decade, in part due to increased emphasis on nutritional claims.

In "Prepared Foods' R&D Investment Survey" conducted in 2000, respondents were asked, “On average, how long does it take your company or division to get the following types of new products to market? Write number of months?”  The question was repeated this year in the “2008 Prepared Foods R&D Trends Survey: Functional Foods.” The question was asked for three types of new products: reformulations of an existing product, line extensions and new product concepts.

Results show that all three product development types take roughly a month longer than in 2000. For example, reformulations that took, on average, 3.9 months now take 4.7 months, and development time for new product concepts increased from 9.7 to 10.5 months.

The slower development times were attributed to more regulations, particularly in regards to more complex claims being made, more policies and a general increased culture of caution within companies.

More detailed information on this subject as well as other results from the “2008 Prepared Foods R&D Trends Survey: Functional Foods” will be published in the September 2008 issue of Prepared Foods.  

From the August 4, 2008, Prepared Foods e-Flash