So of course I’m a fan of this new Food Network show, Recipes to Riches. It’s all about contestants competing for a chance to have their recipe commercialized as a PC product in Loblaws. In other words, the Food Network made a show based on my job. Although I’ve always known my profession sounded cool (when I meet someone for the first time the conversation usually ends up being about my day-to-day work life), I never considered it being a reality TV show! For anyone that hasn’t seen it, the contest is broken down into product categories. Once you win your category you earn $25,000 and become eligible for the grand prize of $250,000. The final winner is decided through an online nation-wide voting process that starts on December the 7th!
So I’ve developed new products… where’s my $250,000???
Did you know that there are about 15,000 to 20,000 “new” food products introduced every year? However, in about 2 years, about 94% of the successfully launched products won’t exist anymore. That’s mostly because on average, families repeatedly buy the same 150 items, which constitute as much as 85% of their household needs. Getting the average consumer to fall in love with a new product is extremely hard! From unclear product vision, to a product being ahead of its time; there are tons of reasons why products fail.
On the show, contestants get a variety of opinions from the judges. They include a Food Critic, a Marketing Guru and a Product Development Expert. They tell the contestants what works and what doesn’t work. Often it sounds pretty obvious to me, but for someone who isn’t used to thinking about food in that way, of course it’s all new! Sometimes the the product might be a fantastic idea, but it isn’t feasible to do in a production setting. Likewise, an idea can be completely “do-able” from an engineering point-of-view, but isn’t a cohesive idea that a customer can fall in love with. Like I said, getting a new product to launch and continue to be successful in today’s market is incredibly difficult.
Has anyone out there been watching the show? What’s your favorite new product? Conversely, is there any discontinued product on the market that you miss? For example, does anyone else remember Pepsi Blue…? If so, let me know!