(April 17) LOS ANGELES — Fully half of companies’ sales today come from products introduced in the past five years.

That’s what Laura Paluch, innovation strategy manager for Masterfoods USA, Hackettstown, N.J., told attendees at an Inter-national Fresh-cut Produce Association annual meeting workshop — “New Product Development: What Works and What Doesn’t” — April 13 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Masterfoods USA is a division of Mars Inc. and manufactures and markets confectionary, snackfood, petcare and food prod-ucts.

Paluch said there are six pillars of new product development:

  • a product strategy that supports the company’s overall business strategy;

    • resource allocation;

      • product development process techniques;

        • common product development tools;

          • market research, and

            • people, structure, team and organization design.

            • Paluch said the trend is for suppliers to develop innovative products and sell them to food companies.

              “Look for convenience, healthful customization, flavor and safety,” she urged the audience.

              Other speakers at the session were Kay Crippen, a principal in Market Development Consultancy, Dana Point, Calif.; Kevin Corbalis, vice president of fitness product manufacturer Star Trac, Irvine, Calif.; and Dave Milam of Causae Corp.

              Crippen urged produce companies to encourage creativity.

              “Quickly turn ideas into products,” she said.