Results - Diagnose barriers

Below you can find summaries and links to the full reviews.

Barriers and critical points in food technology development and commercialisation
Connect4Action performed a two-round Delphi study in order to elicit the views of expert stakeholders on barriers and critical points which prevent effective communication between key actors in food technology development (FTD) and commercialisation. An online discussion forum was then employed to validate the results among a broader audience.

The Delphi study: main findings

Effective communication between different actors in the food chain (food technologists, consumer scientists, consumers, policy makers, etc.) and consideration of consumer preferences when developing new food technologies are two important aspects to avoid commercial failure. An on-going communication with consumers is necessary to inform them about new food technologies before derived products are launched. Consumer insights are most important in the initial phases of process and product development, as well as during later stages, when products are presented in the market.

Barriers to successfully communicating with consumers

  • Consumer preferences may be incorporated too late in the development of new products
  • Insufficient communication with the public about new food technologies before and after the product launch
  • Consumer insights may not be (perceived to be) usable by food technologists in their decisions regarding novel technologies and product design
  • Difficulties associated with the delivery of consumer insights
  • Limited dialogue between different key actors involved in the innovation process
  • Key actors have different goals, different mind-sets, use different methods and terminology, and may have a low awareness of what drives researchers and developers

Ways to improve internal communication

  • Consumer scientists and food technologists should gain more knowledge on and insights into each other’s discipline
  • Increased dialogue between food technologists and consumer scientists
  • Establishing mechanisms for promoting dialogue (e.g., cross-functional teams)
  • In smaller companies, creation of structures for identifying suitable partners for collaboration

Ways to improve external communication

  • Gain an understanding of possible barriers to consumers’ acceptance of novel products, early on in the development process
  • Gather consumer insights and communicate with consumers regarding their preferences, early on in the development process
  • Perform well-designed consumer studies which will provide evidence to assist decision making (preferable early on in the development process)
  • Involve consumers from the earliest stages of product development through co-innovation with actors in the food chain

The results of the Delphi study show consensus across a range of questions concerning the need for internal and external communication, the need for early integration of consumer insights into the food technology development process, and the value of cross-functional teams. A more comprehensive overview of the study findings can be found here. Results from the on-line forum discussion are also presented.

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