Differentiating aspects of product innovation processes in the food industry: an exploratory study on New Zealand

Rao Sanaullah Khan*, John Vincent Grigor, Alan G. Win, Mike Boland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose-The purpose of this paper is to sketch a comparative account of NPD approaches between registered New Zealand food companies that are doing some sort of functional foods (FF) development (Group 1) and those that are not (Group 2); to generate a better understanding of differences and commonalities in their NPD approaches from resource-based view of competitive advantage.

Design/methodology/approach-This paper opted an exploratory approach using a quantitative survey across food manufacturing companies in New Zealand. The primary foci of this empirical investigation were: orientation towards the NPD, innovation processes, collaborative NPD links and routes to commercialisation.

Findings-The results (based on a 22 per cent response rate) show a significant difference (p<0.05) in the aims and mode of NPD between Groups 1 and 2. Further it was observed that food companies in Group 1 have significantly (p<0.05) more diverse external collaborations with broader aims to collaborate, in comparison with food companies in Group 2.

Research limitations/implications-This study was conducted in New Zealand and thus generalisability of the findings may have to be interpreted carefully.

Practical implications-The traditional NPD approach (independent and closed NPD), with loose intellectual property protection practices, dominates the food manufacturing industry in New Zealand. Research-oriented collaborations need to be strengthened in their scope and content to develop the innovative capabilities and capacities of small and medium enterprises (SME’s) within future value-added food productions.

Originality/value-This research provides the comparative narration of innovation process of food manufacturing companies with reference to FFs development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1346-1368
Number of pages23
JournalBritish Food Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Innovation
  • New product development
  • Competitive advantage
  • Differentiation
  • Competitive strategy
  • Value added


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