Existing product development

Evolving existing products in lines with a changing market is a common challenge. Food manufacturers want to create second generation products that are healthier, taste better, last longer or can be produced at a lower cost. Innovating to address these specific challenges is a key discipline.

Leatherhead Food Research’s experienced team of food scientists, microscopists, nutritionists and researchers help food and drink companies develop their products.

Health-based development

Consumers are increasingly demanding products that are designed with health and wellbeing in mind. Whether this is full ready meals or snacks, increasingly everyone is looking for nutritional value rather than empty calories. The use of ingredients for health benefits brings added value to products.

Leatherhead will work with you to produce the very best, most innovative products on the market. When it comes to ingredient functionality, our expertise can help you create healthy, preventative and assistive products. Supported by our nutrition and food safety & quality departments, our first-class knowledge and facilities for in vitro and in vivo trials mean we can help identify the specific ingredients necessary to deliver:

  • Low-fat, low-salt and low-sugar versions of mainstream products
  • Prebiotic properties for gut health
  • Satiating properties for weight management
  • Shear-sensitive properties for dysphagia products (aimed at those who have difficulty swallowing)

Reformulating for claims and new markets

Organisations wish to change their existing product so that they are able to make a “marketing claim” about it. This could be a health based claim or a taste or other consumer perception claim. Similarly, an organisation may wish to introduce a product to a new market and the requirements of that market may require a change to the product make-up. 

  • Working with our consumer tasting and sensory department we can identify what needs to change in a product to make it taste different (or smell, or have a different texture) and reformulate the product accordingly
  • Working with our regulatory and food safety departments, we can identify the ways in which a formulation needs to change in order to be applicable to a given market and we can reformulate accordingly

Reformulating for quality and consistency

Consistently and predictably achieving the highest possible product quality is of critical importance to our clients, whether to protect their brand/ reputation, improve the sustainability of their ingredient sourcing or modify their manufacturing process. 

  • We draw on specialists from across our science and innovation team, leveraging expertise in food safety and product development to identify the scientific reasons for variations in product quality and recommend actions to mitigate these
  • This can include developing ingredient specifications, implementing and monitoring process changes, identifying and evaluating suppliers and troubleshooting ad-hoc events

Why Leatherhead?

  • Market-leading health and nutrition specific expertise
  • Practical application of a strong science foundation
  • Bringing together ingredients, nutrition, microscopy and full product development
  • Existing and next generation product development
  • Understanding of food industry process