News & Analysis on the Bakery and Snacks Industries
Got a great idea? Then get moving...
By Niamh Michail
- Last updated on
You’ve come up with a winning idea for The Next Big Thing, pitched it to the boss, got the green light and it's straight to the drawing board.
But if your new product development (NPD) process takes ten years, chances are that by the time the product is launched, it won't be relevant anymore.
Nestlé found this out the hard way with its ready-to-drink can of coffee which, at the touch of a button, automatically heated itself up.
Launched in the UK, where coffee drinkers have always been more receptive to instant coffee than in mainland Europe, and leveraging the well-established Nescafé brand, it sounded like a recipe for success, says Jago.
But the ten years that went into developing the packaging technology was ten years too many.
“By the time it came out, Starbucks and Costa Coffee were on every street corner, and the need for a self-heating can of coffee wasn’t what it had been.”
Although it doesn't feature in West's museum, Jago cites it as a classic case of a big company moving too slowly.
“The guys were left alone in the room for too long and failed to keep looking back at the market to see if there was still a need for it.
“The big companies have too many different stages and don’t kill the projects fast enough. They should be continually testing for relevance and reprioritising, and in this case they didn’t.”