NOW's New Product Development Process

Andy Frampton

The story behind products offered by NOW Foods begins long before they reach our customers. In fact, a new product concept can originate numerous months prior to being available for sale nationwide. The overall process from paper to shelf is deliberately lengthy to ensure that the end result follows our corporate mission statement: “To provide value in products and services that empower people to live healthier lives”. 
The process begins with NOW’s team of nutritional experts compiling ideas or concepts within a group committee. This group reviews information based on research and cutting edge science to select ideal ingredients, modes of delivery, product names, suggested usage, target retail price and other issues to initiate the product development work. Once the group agrees, they organize their notes and complete a formal Product Definition Form (PDF), which is then passed to NOW’s technical team.
Once in the hands of the technical group, the product is reviewed from many angles. These angles include safety, ingredient/vendor selection, shelf life, packaging components, package inserts, label declarations, Quality Control specifications, potential chemical and biochemical interactions, test methods, and so on. This phase of development generally takes the longest in order to resolve problems before going to production and ending up in our customers’ hands.
NOW Foods allocates a tremendous amount of assets, in both time and money, to follow this process from beginning to end. Small-scale production runs are conducted and analyzed before finalizing the formulas and product specifications. Products consumed as foods or beverages are tested using trained sensory panelists, often times requiring several tests before approval. 
Ingredients used in new products must be tested using either NOW Foods’ in-house laboratory or accredited third party labs around the country. With NOW Foods’ organized development process and state-of-the-art resources, new products are brought to market that are safe and efficacious. NOW Foods has a long history of introducing several well-designed products each month, staying on top of the constantly changing world of natural products.