Putting the 'X' factor into new product development (NPD) launches is not something that be taught or a skill that can be learnt. It's an innate talent from within that requires intuition and instinct, combined with confidence and conviction.
In NPD, innovators need to think about what makes eating experiences truly memorable; what makes them moreish and how a clever combination of half a dozen or so simple ingredients in carefully balanced proportions can create a winning combination.
I was pondering this as I headed to Bangkok last month. It is 10 years since my last visit to this vibrant city of culinary delights. It is a place where food, often simply and humbly prepared, harnesses the highest quality fresh ingredients and creates a wonderful balance and depth of flavour.
I was extremely eager to track down specific eateries that I had frequented on my last trip not to mention the recipes that had left a lasting impression on my palette. From salubrious riverfront restaurants to my favourite streetside hawker stalls, I was uplifted to see that time had stood still and I could relive my time in Bangkok through the same mouth-watering recipes.
While we happily tucked into a selection of authentic Thai delicacies, I considered how the essence of food is so much more than a collection of ingredients.
Any truly successful new dish needs credibility in its geographic roots and should embrace the culture from which it originates. Often the best restaurant experience is one where not only the food exceeds expectations but so does the service, the ambience and the location. They all play their part in creating a winning proposition and, even in prepared foods, this needs to be considered in order to put consumers in the right mood for buying!
Angela Mitton is creative product developer at NPD consultancy Beetroot & Orange