Saturday, November 26, 2011

Food Product Innovation, 10 guidelines for success.

Consumer relevance requires an ongoing strategy for innovation in product / menu development if a brand is to remain top of mind for customers. Building on work by  both John Lord and Stefan Lindegard below are 10 helpful suggestions of common pitfalls to avoid misfiring on your innovation process.

• The lack of and food and brand repositioning innovation strat

Executives and innovation leaders have failed to link innovation with overall corporate strategy. As a result, the innovation efforts have no clear direction, and there is not the necessary mix of incremental and radical innovation. No strategy, no focused effort, no resul

• Non- integrated definition of innov

At Foodservice Solutions we believe differentiation does not mean different rather it means familiar with a contemporized twist. Innovation means different things to different people. Every company should develop its own definition that fits its situation and should use this definition to build a common language for innovation initiat

• Too much focus on internal capab
ilities and brand

The future of innovation is open and global. Who will understand your customer base first? You? Or your compe

• Not enough focus on open i

Yes, you need to go open, but open innovation is not the Holy Grail. A key to innovation success is the ability to combine internal and external resources and be in a position to act on opportunities within your brands consumers focus.
  • Internal silos are too firmly ingrained, utilize outside ‘eyes”.
If you cannot make innovation happen across your own business units and functions, how could you possibly expect your innovation to sing beyond your company borders, expensing your brand.

• Too much focus on ideas and too little fo
cus on people.

Consumers are dynamic not static, your brand should be as well. People and processes matter more than ideas. Yet too few companies establish programs in which they can identify and develop the right people and match these people with the right ideas at th
e right time.

• Lack of a strong net
working culture, get outside your box.

Although executives might acknowledge the value of relationships, they often undervalue the importance of a strong innovation culture. People can figure this out by themselves, they say. Not true. Executives need to establish networking strategies and employees need training that fits those strategies, along with the time to build and nurture
relationships. Enlist others to think about your brand all of the time.

• Innovation efforts need to focus both on techn
ology  and food products.

Most companies do not work with innovation models, such as the Ten Types of Innovation developed by Doblin. In that instance, executives are led to focus on innovation within four main categories; finance, process, product, and delivery. This can help employees and external partners view innovation in a m
ore holistic way.

• It's all about
the usual suspects, but don’t exclude the busboy.

Innovation champions and other elite units can work, but the setup of such departments often sends the signal that those guys will take care of it. Other employees might think they do not need to get involved. Sure, everyone should not work with innovation at the same time, but programs or platforms that give everyone opportunities to get involved need to be
put in place, too. Be inclusive.

• Executives and innovation leaders underestimat
e the speed of change.

The consumer is dynamic not static. Things are changing fast, and executives need to move equally fast to claim their position. Yet too many companies have not even begun thinking about open innovation yet. That could prove costly in the long run.

Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a brand leveraging integration strategy.  Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche for more visit

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