Competencies of Reconfiguration in Product Development – The Case of Convenience Food
Convenience food is characterized by a value added to the product core that corresponds to fast changing consumer needs. Thus, convenience food can be considered as an example of one of the most innovative product categories in the domain of the food industry. Concerning innovative activities the prevailing perception of convenience food is that all decisive impulses are coming from the market e.g. are driven by the power of demand. If so, than food producers have the chance to react on these impulses when developing novel convenience food solutions timely and close to the market development intent meeting the requirements of the consumers. In this paper we are going to propose a different viewpoint: firms who are developing, producing and selling convenience food products may follow a corporate strategy which is not necessarily and primarily in line with the consumer welfare but is rather oriented to their competitors. Thus, the strategic dimension is also or predominantly geared to a firm’s competitive environment when trying to find attractive niche positions and aiming on competitive advantage by using internal resources and competencies. We understand that convenience food shows clear distinctive characteristics in comparison to conventional foods. These require a very particular set of competencies in the sense of how to employ resources and capabilities in a useful way. Additionally, we argue that the characteristics of convenience food to employ an innovation strategy based on fast processes of resource reconfiguration.
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