Some 90 per cent of all new food and drink products fail to survive more than a year in the market, a Minister said yesterday.
At the launch of a report to improve the success rate of product development in the industry, Mr Noel Treacy, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Food, said this report would help to limit the risks involved.
He said the main reasons for the high failure rate was that the majority of companies engaged in new product development did not have an explicit new product-development strategy, and did not approach new product development in a market-orientated fashion.
The purpose of the new publication, Market-Led New Product Development in the Food and Drink Industry, was to correct this imbalance.
"It will provide companies with guidance to new product development best practice, improve success rates, reduce failure rates and set out the various supports State agencies can provide in this area," he said.
A steady stream of new products was vital to progress in the food and drinks industry, and standing still was not an option.
"Consumers' behaviour patterns have changed dramatically in recent years, and they are now actively seeking out new products on the shelf.
"Retailers are also demanding innovative new products from their suppliers as they both continuously seek to differentiate themselves from competitors."
Mr Treacy said the report set out the need for companies to be involved in innovation, understanding the needs of the consumer, the needs of the retailer and how to put a firm new product development system in place.
Mr Padraic White, chairman of the Food Agency Co-operation Council, which drew up the report, described it as "revolutionary". It was telling companies they must focus on the needs of the consumer and work back from there, rather than developing a product without knowing if the consumer wanted it.
It also outlined how State agencies could assist in the development of a new product.