The first stage in food product development is ideation. What are the current trends in the food sector? Is there a market need or business opportunity? Product validation and market research will help to validate ideas generated. As an entrepreneur, you should be using lean market validation principles to ensure you have a viable business idea. It is important at this stage to ensure you have a clearly defined target customer, a clear understanding of the problem you are trying to solve and a clear vision of how your business or product will solve that problem.