AbstractThe collaborators, a trout farming and processing company, experienced poor utilisation of non-retail grades of rainbow trout. New products were required to utilise this resource and realise the growth opportunities in the multiple retail
market. Factors influencing the subsequent developments were:
1 the needs of a major customer in the retail sector, and
2 the availability of new processing and packaging technology.
In response to retailer demand the modified atmosphere packaging technique was applied to chilled fresh trout and smoked trout products. These products utilise weight grades of fish which were previously sold unprofitably to the catering and wholesale markets. A third product was developed to utilise trout which were physically damaged during processing. A boneless skin less mince was mechanically reclaimed from this material. New product concepts were generated and tested, and smoked trout pate subsequently developed. This product can utilise trout of any weight or quality, and may therefore act as a buffer against the fluctuating grade denands of other portion-concept trout products. Other benefits to the company are the introduction of new processing methods, applicable to an extended range of fish products, and the provision of a new product development rationale.
The importance of new retail products for the UK trout industry is shown. However, only operators with diversified processing and marketing functions can respond effectively to the present opportunities, and this influence is stratifying the structure of the industry.
General implications for the food industry are considered. Increasing retailer power, the trend to fresh foods and the attention paid to quality can result in strict specifications for agricultural produce, which may exclude a proportion of the crop from premium markets. New products can be developed to utilise this material, so improving profitability. The action research approach is used to elicit precepts relating to the management of new product development; the formulation of clear objectives, accounting for the company's needs and capabilities, helps focus creative marketing and financial resources on central issues. The freedom and motivation of the product champion are shown to be instrumental in determining the outcome of product development, as are the technical and managerial inputs from external organisations.
|Date of Award||1983|
- New product development
- UK trout industry