Relating to the product mix

The product portfolio is the collection of products produced by the marine and agricultural farmers and harvesters; manufactured and marketed by the food ingredient processor and the retail foods manufacturer; and for the retailer and food service, the food products marketed. In large companies in the food industry, there are many products in a product mix so that they are usually grouped into product areas, which are further subdivided into product lines. A product line is a group of products that are related, either used for similar purposes or possessing similar characteristics (Schaffner et al., 1998). The

Box 2.3 How major core competencies affect development of hot new products


Core competencies


Low-fat meat products

Particle size analysis, protein-fat interactions, actual fat reduction in tissues, flavour improvement carbohydrate chemistry

Swift-Eckrich, Kraft Foods, Doskocil Food Service Co., Nestle, Lean & Free Products, National Starch and Chemical

Fruit and vegetable products

Physical structure, biochemical changes in ripening, flavour chemistry, breeding, biotechnology, enzymes, antioxidants

Kagome Kabushiki Kaisha, Tropicana Products, Ocean Spray Cranberries

Coffee products

Structure and biotechnology of coffee beans, co-spray drying, glass transition technology, particle size management, caffeine effects, compaction

Nestle, Procter & Gamble, Kraft Foods


Antioxidants, phytochemistry, flavours, colour development, oxidation and antioxidants, enzymes, cloud emulsions

Lipton, Nestle, Procter & Gamble, Mitsui Norin Co., Sky Food Co., Coca-Cola


Phytochemistry, cold extrusion, viscosity, low-calorie fats, rheology, flavours

Nestle, Hershey Foods, FMC Corp., M&M Mars

Dairy products

Texture, flavour, nutrition, foaming, heat denaturation, particle size, protein stabilisation, ultrafiltration, mineral separation, microbiology

Kraft Foods, Schreiber Cheese,

Calpis Food Industry,



Grain products

Rheology, refrigeration, glass transition, retrogradation, nutrition, flavours, extrusion, refrigerated doughs

Nestle, Kellogg, General Mills, Pillsbury

Source: Based on material from Katz, 1998 by permission of Institute of Food Technologists, Chicago, Ill.

Table 2.7 Characteristics of the product mix




Types of product

Types of market

Sales revenues

Product platforms

Market segments


Product lines


Market potential

Product ages

Industrial customers

Product images

Food service customers

Product attributes

Competing products

product mix is live and evolving. It is currently profitable and as it changes, its profitability needs to continue to achieve the aims of the company. This does not mean that every product in the mix is profitable - there are other aims for products in a mix. They may complement other products, extend a line to give it variety, fill a place in the market, and so on.

The product mix is a mixture of products at different stages in the product life cycle: from new products to products that are at the end of their life cycle and dying. It is this variation of age that gives the mix its evolving character. The product mix also has variations in the sales revenue and the profits: some products are the major revenue earners and some the major profit earners. So the product mix has characteristics shown in Table 2.7. Sometimes products are also grouped according to the types of raw materials and methods of processing and distribution, for example, cereal products and meat products, frozen products and canned products.

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