Consultation hours

Product development at share: Interview with Laura Dörfler, Head of Product Development

von Isabelle Diekmann

It is clear that all share products contain a social donation! But how do our drinks, food, care products and stationery get onto the shelves? To do this, we spoke to Laura Dörfler, our Head of Product Development, and accompanied her for a day in her everyday work. In the interview, she tells us who at share comes up with the ideas for products, how decisions are made, which product is her personal favorite and what challenges she always faces in product development.

Dear Laura, since when have you been working at share and what exactly is your position?

I have been working at share for a little over two years. I am both Head of Product Development and Product Developer for Personal Care. As Head of Product Development, I am responsible for the entire Product Development team. At share, each of the four categories - Food , Beverages , Care and Stationery - has its own Product Developer and this person oversees product development in the respective category.

How is it decided which new products should be available at share and who comes up with the ideas for them?

For each of our product categories, we have a category manager in addition to the product developers. This person looks at the market, carries out analyses and uses this data to develop the portfolio strategy for each product. We product developers regularly carry out tests, try out competing products and observe what new products and innovations there are. Then we bring everything together and think together about which new products should be launched.

Starting with the first idea – what steps are there in product development until the finished product can be on the shelves?

First, we develop a concept that specifies which claims should appear on the product, which characteristics the product should have, what can and cannot be included. Once all of these framework conditions have been clarified, we issue a tender and start looking for suitable suppliers with whom we can develop the product. Once we have identified a certain number of suppliers for the shortlist, we receive samples in accordance with the tender and start with the feedback rounds and make adjustments - until we arrive at the final product.

The new Peach & Orange and Shea Butter & Honey Soap Bars have just been released. Tell us roughly when you started developing the product and what challenges you faced?

It takes about a year from the idea to the final product that is then on the market. And in product development, you never know what will happen. Every product is different, every product development process is different. It may be that it is more difficult to find a supplier than expected. But it may also be that you have eight sample rounds instead of just three, and so you always have to be prepared for anything.

What would you say makes the care products at share particularly special?

All products in the share care range are vegan, all are free of microplastics. And the most important thing of all is that every product donates a hygiene service to a person in need.

Do you all test the products yourselves as a team and do you personally decide on the fragrances or do you base your decisions on demand/the majority?

We actually do both. First, we use analyses to define what the fragrance of a new product should be called and what it should contain. Then we look specifically at the market and its trends and, based on this, receive suggestions from our fragrance house, which we then sniff through together. Finally, we decide on a fragrance as a team. In the end, it is the market and the demand that matter, and at the end we, the share team, choose the final fragrance.

And last but not least: Which share product are you most proud of and why?

I am most proud of our refill bag for liquid soap. The bag is made of monomaterial and is therefore very easy to recycle - and that is not standard on the market. We therefore spent a very, very, very long time developing the product. And every time I see it in the store today, I am delighted at what a beautiful product it is.

Positive things for your inbox – 10% discount for you.

With our weekly newsletter you will find out everything about our promotions, new products and projects as well as ways to easily make your social contribution. Sign up now and save 10% on your next order.

You might also be interested in:

Add your text here