Staying ahead by meeting changing consumer needs
A Heinz case study

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Page 3: New product development

Heinz 7 Image 1New product development (NPD) is a sequential process of finding ideas for new goods, turning those ideas into commercially viable additions, replacements or extensions to existing product lines. Heinz knows that the innovation process depends on generating a stream of new ideas. These can come from various sources eg from consumer feedback, employees, in-house brainstorming sessions and market research. By encouraging these new ideas, Heinz can also focus on those which meet consumers’ needs and are practical for the market place.

Microwaveable packaging

The key functions of any pack are to provide the consumer with a functional concept that protect its contents in transit, storage and use. These requirements play an important part in determining the shape and size of the packaging and also the materials used.

Packaging:

  • attracts potential consumers
  • communicates information
  • creatively identifies and unifies products as part of a range or brand, eg Heinz Tomato Ketchup.

Heinz is accustomed to using new technologies to keep its products in line with changing consumer needs, such as ring pulls on cans or plastic and foil packaging. Consumer buying habits reveal that they want foods that can be cooked conveniently and quickly. Through its microwaveable formats, Heinz is using packaging to add value to its existing product portfolio in a way that has enabled the company to meet a whole new range of consumer requirements. For example:

  • Heinz Microwaveable Pasta Meals are the first instant microwaveable pot snack made with real and not Heinz 7 Image 6dehydrated pasta. Heinz Microwaveable Pasta Meals are aimed particularly at busy working women who are ‘on the go’ and looking for a satisfying, quick meal that is convenient and healthy. The meals come in four flavours to suit all tastes.
  • Heinz Baked Beans have come out of the can and into a microwaveable pot too. Over 90% of people have access to a microwave at work, and the number of households owning microwaves has increased by 50% in the last ten years. Not surprisingly, product development is concentrating on convenience and speed without loss of taste or quality.
  • Heinz offers a range of microwaveable soups. The new packaging covers favourites such as Cream of Tomato and Cream of Mushroom. The soups can be heated in two minutes – and eaten directly and conveniently from the microwaveable bowl.
  • Heinz Sponge Puddings are also available in a microwaveable format. They provide quality, pleasure and convenience at home and at work, meeting modern consumer needs for quick luxury treats.

Heinz | Staying ahead by meeting changing consumer needs
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