The company based in Israel helps food and food ingredient companies develop products like a start-up business but by breaking the mold of marketing the same products on a reduced margin that could set the product up for failure.
Starting an innovation process in an existing company that has produced the same products over many years is fraught with stumbling blocks, says Tal Leizer, CEO, Practical Innovation.
With so much at risk, older and larger companies are persistently driven toward making only minor changes rather than true innovations. Being inherently risk-averse, they might only add a new flavor, improve packaging, or cut costs.
“Gambling your reputation in the market with a new product that might not survive on-shelf is a huge impediment,” said Leizer.
“When a company approaches us, in many cases they already are losing market share and have hastily responded with price drops to try and hold their brand in the marketplace,” says Leiser.
“Building a robust plan is crucial to maintaining any new strategy and to assess its feasibility for implementation. Such a plan should also encompass areas of large-scale production, developing niche markets, and assessing prospects for international export.”
As an example of its work, and recognizing consumer interest in healthier sugar alternatives, Practical Innovations reinvented a sweetener called Liteez, a dual-purpose, sugar-free, vegan meringue “kiss” sweetener for Lampados.
The product contains natural sugars in prebiotic vegetable fibers that can dissolve in and sweeten a hot beverage or be enjoyed as an ultra-low calorie sweet treat.
Leizer said she was interested in developing the product after seeing recommendations to reduce sodium, sugar, and fat in the diet established by the global health bodies FDA and WHO.
She saw it as a great opportunity for clients to develop new ingredients and products to meet the growing demand for healthy, tasty products.
“Even more pertinent is to guide all the product characteristics, from texture, taste, and functionality through to packaging, as well as crafting an indulgent flavor while being sure the concept meets the real demands of the consumer,” added Leizer.
“We don’t just develop different packaging or a new flavor, but reinvent every aspect of a product, from concept to product launch, all while encompassing formulation with simple, natural ingredients according to the current food trends.”
Identify food trends
According to Practical Innovations, only 0.5% of food product launches achieve success in the marketplace.
Many established food companies want to develop new products and increase sales and revenues, but to do so involves harnessing resources that are not always available to traditional companies such as bakeries and sweetener companies.
Leizer’s top tips to achieve success are; think like a startup by searching for creative ideas even if those ideas seem impossible; Do your research: this involves market research, identifying important food trends, and knowing what the market wants now and five years from now.
Set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound); make your concept feasible and scalable; develop a complete plan from concept to market and beyond and make sure the product meets the genuine needs of the target consumer and solves real problems for which they are seeking answers.