Necessary knowledge for product development

To change the product idea concept into a new product, knowledge of the raw materials, processing, product qualities, consumer/product reactions, marketing and the general environment is needed, as shown in Fig. 4.5. These knowledge areas are all interacting. For example, processing knowledge affects the knowledge of raw materials; if low temperature drying were chosen, the microbiological quality of the raw materials must be carefully controlled to ensure safety in the product. So it is not a case of seeking knowledge specifically in one area, but interacting this with knowledge in another area. The consumer may wish to have the liquid in a bottle, but only cartons can be used in the processing line, so one has to discover how the consumer reacts to a carton and how they would accept cartons. The descriptions of

Product concept

Raw materials

Consumers' behaviour





Consumers' needs and wants

Product qualities

Social, cultural environment Physical environment Economic environment Political environment

Con su mer-defined product


Company organisation, knowledge and resources

New product

Fig. 4.5 Knowledge for conversion of product concept to new product.

the product by the consumer have to be changed into quantitative terms in the product qualities; so there is need for knowledge of the consumer's needs and wants on product attributes and also the methods of measuring these attributes. Central to the activities are the two important areas of the consumer and the technology, but there also needs to be knowledge of the environment. Knowledge of the consumer is detailed in Chapter 5.

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