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Industry Innovation

Reasons Food Products Fail

95% of Food Products Fail – Knowledge is Power

Graphic of blocks tumbling down, representing product failure.

pproximately 95% of all new food products fail, which may not be for the reasons people think. Often, a person comes up with a delicious food option. Still, they fail to consider other factors affecting their profitability, use poor marketing efforts or fail to keep their company agile.

Wrong Price

People often come up with a viable food product, but the cost of producing that food is more than the consumer is willing to pay. This often happens when a company introduces new food without identifying its proper target audience. Therefore, the first thing that needs to happen when a company is offering a food product to the public is to determine what price they are willing to pay for that food. Getting an accurate assessment of this information requires you to take the food and go out in public and let them sample it, then directly ask them what price they would be willing to pay for that food. In some cases, the company creating the product will need to adapt it such that a different target audience can be engaged – ideally one willing to pay more for the product.

Often, a person comes up with a potentially lucrative food option, but they fail to consider other factors affecting their profitability, use poor marketing efforts or fail to keep their company agile.

When you ask the question “why do new food products fail?”, the company must take a second factor into factor into consideration. They have failed to identify the right vendors to supply the ingredients needed to produce the food. The answer to this problem is to do market research. You will want to identify possible vendors and specify their arrangements.  See what their willing to offer if they are the sole supplier. In some cases, new food companies get locked into long-term contracts that are not in their favor through lack of knowledge, so the food company may opt to hire expertise to help them identify the right vendors.

Poor Marketing Efforts

New food companies often fall victim to poor marketing. The first step in solving this issue is to create a brand identity that connects with the target audience. Everyone at the company must be able to enunciate that personality. All decisions made around the food, like its packaging and advertising efforts, must reflect that identity. Getting this right from the beginning also helps successful food companies identify opportunities that are right for them and know when to disregard other options.

One great way to ensure everyone is on board with the brand’s identity is to host frequent in-house networking events. This allows those in C Level Execs to meet the marketing team and vice versa. Then, when questions arise, the person knows who to call to solve the issue. The closer a new team is, the better it functions.

It is also essential that the company start networking with those in the industry who can move the product into the appropriate retail venues.  When the marketing team does not already have contacts with these people, it can be challenging to build them. While cold calling and attending trade shows can help, working with a food broker is often the best solution because they will have a set of established contacts.

Too Much Detail

There can be a situation where there is too much attention to detail.  Sometimes, waiting for everything to be perfect can cause very real time-to-market delays.  Management must be able to temper and assess competing product development forces and directions.  It’s essential that the organization remain nimble and agile.  

Clear lines of responsibility and decision-making authority must be specified. . Some decisions will be more and some will be less objective. Sometimes there is no replacement for experience and ‘gut feel.’  Companies must empower people to become a part of the decision-making process.  Companies can get bogged down because each decision is subjected to a laborious decision-making process.

A new company must also not think that their current product is the only option for the company. They must constantly be researching trends and be ready to adjust their product development efforts.  


While a new food can fail for many reasons, issues at the company behind the food are usually to blame, not the quality or taste of the food itself. Therefore, companies must start by researching to determine the correct target audience for that product and gauge consumer demand. They must also ensure that everyone at the company stays on board with the brand’s identity. Most importantly, the company must remain agile to turn quickly and focus on a new product while that opportunity can come to fruition.

October 28, 2022