As innovation and speed to market have become crucial to competitiveness, food and beverage companies will focus on extending their product ranges and developing entirely new products over the next two years.

This is just one of the findings of a recent Campden BRI's study, which surveyed 126 companies from a wide range of food and drink sectors, including multinationals (39 percent), large enterprises (19 percent), small to medium-sized businesses (25 percent), small companies (17 percent) and startups (less than 1 percent).

The UK independent research organisation found that sixty-three percent of companies planned to extend their existing ranges, whereas 62 percent said they would be focusing on NPD. About half of them were also targeting new markets, while 43 percent were innovating health products and 38 percent aimed to save on costs.

“In many companies, more than half of revenue comes from products that were not in the product line five years earlier, so it’s important that NPD is done right,” said Emma Hanby on Campden BRI’s blog. “Companies that can respond to changing consumer demands and get the right products to market more quickly are more likely to outperform their competitors.”

More than three-quarters of respondents said they met regularly to discuss their innovation pipeline.

Among the barriers they faced were time (58 percent) and resources (60 percent), but 20 percent of companies also claimed that facilities were making innovation more difficult and 17 percent struggled to find new ideas.