from Siemon Scamell-Katz, chairman, ID Magasin

Sir; Indeed, these are sorry times for NPD (‘Is 2005 the year that innovation dried up?’, The Grocer, December 10, p36) and brand managers do seek to limit risk with endless brand extensions, most of which are doomed to failure. This is because the orthodox model for launching products is flawed.

The belief that busy shoppers demand more and more choice is erroneous: they need fewer, clearer choices and more genuine solutions for their changing lifestyles.

The fallacy springs from traditional market research, which drives inappropriate product development and over-reliance on advertising, both trade and consumer. This is because consumer research alone cannot predict how the shopper will react in the first moment of truth in front of the fixture. A successful model for NPD starts not with the consumer but with the shopper and the different shopping missions at category level.

Combined with factual data on consumer trends, this drives truly innovative NPD that is fit for purpose,