Product development is an ongoing process at Herbalife - one that often starts as a germ of idea that may be driven by any number of factors including trends in the marketplace, new scientific findings, and input from a team of science staff. The seeds of a product idea are nurtured through a stepwise process to ensure its success in the marketplace.
In the first stage, as concepts and formulations are considered, Herbalife's product development team and regulatory group begin to develop scientific substantiation for proposed ingredients. The process is begun early in order to determine if formula variations might be required to enable products to be sold in the various markets worldwide.
During the next step - the feasibility stage - product prototypes are developed, and packaging design and pricing are explored. An active product committee - made up of top Herbalife distributors - may be brought in at this point to provide valuable feedback on the prototype product.
During the third stage, the final formula is determined, scientific substantiation for the ingredients is completed and the manufacturing team gets to work sourcing ingredients. A critical refinement takes place at this point, too - product taste evaluations in the Herbalife in-house sensory lab. At the same time, the creative team works with marketing on the important touches - such as the name, packaging and artwork - to prepare the product for the final stage, the product debut.
Just before new products are introduced, Herbalife ensures that quality control is in place and that the manufacturing division will meet the high product demand that inevitably results when the new product is launched. Herbalife introduces at least one new product per key market each year.
With so many variables in the development, there is no set timeline for bringing products to market. Depending on the product, it may take a year or more to for it to progress from the germ of an idea to holding center stage at an Herbalife Extravaganza.