f you have an excellent idea for a product, a market opportunity assessment can help you determine if your idea is worthwhile or if you need to abandon it and come up with a different idea. Completing a market opportunity assessment allows you to have the research to show food brokers and investors that your idea is viable. It also showcases essential factors you can tweak to reach your intended audience better.
For a product to be successful, there must be a target audience with a problem that your product solves. For example, consumers wanted coffee that they could take with them in the morning, so George Constant Louis Washington patented an instant coffee product that consumers could take with them. Unfortunately, it had a bad taste, but the owners of Nescafe figured out that if they co-dried the coffee grounds with an equal amount of carbohydrates, it drastically improved the flavor. Instant coffee became a favorite of many people. Another example is Dr. James Caleb Jackson, who invented the first breakfast cereal because he needed to feed hungry patients a healthy breakfast at his New York sanitarium.
You must create a product that solves a problem, fills a gap, or satisfies a need of a particular group of people.
The same process must occur today for your product to be successful. You must create a product that solves a problem that a group of people is experiencing.
It is not enough to say that every person wants to wake up in the morning to an instant hot cup of coffee or that everyone wants a bowl of delicious cereal in the morning. Instead, for a food product to be successful, you must identify the characteristics of the target audience with the problem that your product solves. These characteristics might include:
Consider that some factors may cause changes in your market assessment, like the 14% shrinkage in c-store foodservice sales in 2021 caused by the pandemic.
A market assessment is also valuable for helping you determine how to market your products. First, it shows you the size of the target audience. This is a vital consideration in knowing if there will be enough interest in your product. Secondly, it can help you determine how much money your target audience is willing to pay to have their challenge solved. A market assessment also enables you to determine how to package your product based on your target audience's expectations.
A market assessment can also help you identify your product's seasonal demand. One must only look at the history of pumpkin spice to understand that timing is vital. The first pumpkin spice was not used until the 1950s, when McCormick's market assessments showed that pumpkin pie spice would be a hit. The strong desire for pumpkin spice, however, did not occur until Starbucks' market assessment showed that pumpkin spice latte would be a hit in 2003. You must time your product correctly because recent market assessments show that people are getting tired of pumpkin spice.
You can also use a market assessment to determine if your product has a limited regional appeal or if interest in it is more widespread. For example, a market assessment might show that selling foods containing locusts would be an intelligent move in Israel. In contrast, those with tuna eyeballs would be popular in Japan, but your market assessment would probably show minimal interest in the United States.
Use a market assessment showcasing the who, what, when and where of your product to interest others in your product. It can be beneficial when talking to shareholders and food brokers. Then, you have the data to explain why they should be interested in your product. Without a market assessment, you may not be interesting anyone in your product while going broke, so be sure to carry out this critical step.