Emerging Issues From New Product Development in Food Manufacturing Industries

CED-81-138: Published: Aug 19, 1981. Publicly Released: Aug 19, 1981.

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GAO examined the nature and magnitude of the changes that have taken place in the food industry and identified issues which related to them. It did not attempt to provide resolution of the issues nor did it intend for its list to be all-inclusive. The issues should help to provide a better understanding of the complex task facing policymakers in analyzing the performance of the food manufacturing industry. The structure of the food industry has undergone a significant transformation over the past half century. More new products are now being manufactured by fewer firms. The frequency of high market concentration, whereby fewer and fewer firms account for most sales or market production, and its effects on competition, raises a number of questions for consideration by the government and society as a whole. However, the ability of the government and society to analyze the industry's performance has not kept pace where the primary focus of competitive activity has been new product development. Policymakers are faced with a complicated challenge: defining performance measures to determine how well the market system serves the aims of society.

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