Market-oriented new product development of health promoting foods for the ageing population

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Collins, Orla
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University College Cork
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Major factors influencing food development and food marketing strategies in global market places at present can be attributable to the changing age structure of the population. The significant shifts in global age structure will inevitably lead to the number of people aged 60 reaching an all-time high of one billion by the year 2020. The rapidly growing population of ageing people globally represents a large, neglected and very much under-developed category within the Food Industry. The primary focus of this study was the integration of knowledge creation techniques at early NPD stages, for the development of market-oriented new health promoting foods for the ageing population. The methodology of this study was centered on an exploratory sequential mixed methods strategy. Stage one of the study involved in-depth semi-structured interviews with 16 Stakeholders to facilitate the need identification stage of the NPD process. The main outputs identified were the need for: the fortification of foods for a preventative nutrition approach, the development of foods that targeted age-related conditions such as cognitive, heart, gut and bone health, the integration of ageing compensatory packaging adaptations and the creation of marketing messages with an active lifestyle message. Stage two consisted of a market-oriented computer assisted NPD technique, a user centered design interaction (UCD) to integrate consumers as co-creators throughout the idea generation stage of the NPD process. The most important product attributes identified in this stage included: products targeted at brain and cognitive health, liquid based beverages, easy to use packaging with environmentally friendly elements, simplistic marketing with a clear focus on health not age and realistic health claims constructed with consumer friendly terminology. Finally, Stage three used an abbreviated means-end chain (MEC) analysis to complete the concept development stage of the NPD process. This stage identified commercial information that could be used by food firms for the development of positioning and communication strategies. Equally, the information generated could be of high strategic importance to governments, policy makers, health professionals and medical professionals. The values and goals listed in this stage included: better overall health, active lifestyle, optimum nutrition and wellbeing feelings. Overall, this research illustrated that knowledge creation techniques can assist firms in the development of market-oriented health promoting foods for the ageing population.
New product development
Collins, O. 2016. Market-oriented new product development of health promoting foods for the ageing population. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.