Two new products have recently been released for sale. One of them is a meat pie with a mashed pumpkin top and the other is two ice creams called “guts” and snot”. My nephew (11 yo) tried “guts” and said it is the best ice cream he has ever had. It was green ice on the outside and red ice cream with popping candy inside – just perfect for boys of that age.
What do these products have in common? It is that time of the year when people dress as ghosts, witches and talk about “trick or treat”. Yes, it has recently been Halloween. Although not a traditional Australian holiday, it is now a feature this time of year, with parties, festivals and new tailored food products.
These new food products will not be around for long, they are intended to boosts sales due to the link to Halloween. It is a technique that is regularly used by the big fast food (quick serve) operators to keep people coming in. Whether it be a new type of burger or a super deal or a new product on the menu board for “a limited time”, it is all about keeping and improving sales.
With Christmas rapidly approaching, there will be an influx across the food industry of festive related foods to bring in people and keep them. The other day, I saw an ad on TV for a new type of Christmas pudding with a whole candied orange inside that is only available exclusively at one supermarket. This type of product will definitely not be the only Christmas related thing we will see in the next six weeks.
There are food staples and we will always buy them, but manufacturers know that to get new customers and keep current ones, there is a need to always bring out something new. It may only be a modification to a flavour like making an old favourite burger into an Hawaiian version with pineapple added, or tomato sauce flavoured crisps, or something brand new like the “snot” or guts” ice creams.
It is our culture that determines a lot of this product development, like Australia Day, or Christmas or our growing interest in Halloween. Look at the number of ads on TV and in the supermarket and new products that contain lamb in January.
It is worth noting that the two new ice creams probably started development up to three years ago. Product development is not a quick process and something like 99 ideas out of 100 are killed before the final product makes it to the market.
Finding that product that hits the sweet spot, and generates massive long term sales, is the aim of all product development and marketing, and it is our culture that helps determine what that product will be.
This article has been written by Rachelle Williams – The Green Food Safety Coach