Full citation

Reid, M. (2001). Benchmarking NPD Success Factors in the Australian Food Processing Industry. Journal of Food Products Marketing, 7(4), 19-35.

Format: Peer-reviewed article

Type: Research — Non-experimental

Experience level of reader: Fundamental

Annotation: The paper focuses on the firm's program level performance drivers of new product development as opposed to the drivers at a project level. A self-administered questionnaire was collected from 232 food manufacturers in Australia. Correlations were done on the respondents reported level of NPD performance and the performance on pre-determined NPD drivers. Three drivers showed the most significance, cross-functional involvement, defined strategic thrusts and adequate resources.

Setting(s) to which the reported activities/findings are relevant: Large business, Small business (less than 500 employees)

Knowledge user(s) to whom the piece of literature may be relevant: Manufacturers, Researchers

Knowledge user level addressed by the literature: Organization

This article uses the Commercial Devices and Services version of the NtK Model

Primary Findings

Method: The primary drivers of performance appear to be: 1. Cross-functional Involvement and good interfacing between those involved in undertaking NPD. 2. Developing a profile of defined product/market arenas to direct new product ideation and investment in R&D and marketing capabilities. 3. Provision of adequate resources for undertaking NPD. 4. Leadership and organization of projects including the use of product champions and enabling managers the flexibility to make decisions relating to NPD activities. 5. A strong market orientation that links both customer and competitor insights into the NPD process for improved decision-making. 6. A high level of senior management involvement in order to illustrate to employees that management is committed to successful NPD outcomes. 7. Undertaking up-front homework including appropriate project screening and evaluation activities, concept development and testing, and preliminary market and technical testing.
Survey. Results from questionnaire analysis.
Occurrence of finding within the model: Tip 4.1, Stage 1, Step 4.10, Step 4.1, Step 4.11, Step 2.2


  • Designing appropriate screening and evaluation “gates” to help prioritize projects and select winners for advancement. Preliminary up-front homework may include such activities as broad screening based on key market and technical capabilities and a broad financial assessment. At a second stage this may include refining product concepts and specifications ensuring stronger customer input and assessment, improved technical evaluation, and financial analysis.
    Survey. Manager implications drawn from results of study.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: Tip 2.1, Tip 2.2, Tip 2.3, Tip 4.1, Gate 1, Gate 2, Gate 3, Gate 4, Gate 5, Gate 6, Gate 9, Step 4.11, Step 2.2
  • An emphasis on generating information on customers’ existing and latent needs and the activities of competitors, and employ this in both idea generation and screening of ideas and concepts.
    Survey. Manager implications drawn from results of study.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: Gate 1, Step 4.11, Step 2.2, Step 1.1

Secondary Findings


  • Project level success factors can be complemented by a set of higher order or strategic program-level factors, which are perhaps preconditions for sustained innovation. These preconditions are: (1) top management’s commitment to and visible support for innovation; (2) long-term strategy in which innovation plays a key role; (3) long-term commitment to major projects based on considerations of future market penetration and growth rather than short-term ROI criteria; (4) corporate flexibility and responsiveness to change; (5) top management acceptance of risk and an associated need for sensible termination criteria; and, (6) creation of an innovation-accepting, entrepreneurship-accommodating culture. (Rothwell [1994])
    Occurrence of finding within the model: Stage 1, Stage 2
  • Montoya-Weiss and Calantone (1994) provide an excellent summary of a number of key quantitative investigations at the project level and identify a myriad of variables impacting on successful new product development. They conclude that the four most frequently utilized factors in product-level success and failure studies are: (1) proficiency of technological activities; (2) proficiency of market related activities, (3) product advantage; and (4) protocol development. (Montoya-Weiss and Calantone [1994])
    Occurrence of finding within the model: Tip 4.1, Step 2.2