Relating to the core competencies

It is important that the product development strategy is related to the technology and marketing strategies in the overall innovation strategy. The product development is related to the present core competencies of the company and, even more importantly, the developing core competencies of the company (Katz, 1998). It is also important to identify where the core competencies are in the food system - with the retailers and food service, with the retail or food service manufacturing companies, the ingredient processors, the producers, or the surrounding market research companies, advertisers, university departments, research organisations or consultants. The basic direction in the innovation strategy for product development is to identify how a unique and superior product can be developed to satisfy consumers' known and unknown needs and wants. Some products and their underlying technologies identified by Katz (1998) are shown in Box 2.3.

These examples are mostly large American companies with some European multinationals and Japanese companies, and may not be indicative of the food industry in other countries. But Katz identified some of the key technologies that are the basis of product development in these companies. It is interesting to see for example how rheology in different facets is a common core technology. The core technologies can also be divided into science-based and engineering-based. In some cases the author identified the core competency clearly, in others they were confused - maybe this is typical of companies. Some can identify core competencies, others are less sure. In no place were the marketing and consumer competencies identified - just as important core competencies as is organisational capability in product and processing technologies.

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