Friday, November 5, 2021

Food Manufacturing Partnerships Matter


How are you looking a customer ahead?  Do you know what your customers will be wanting in next month, next year, or two years from now?  The time, talent, and knowledge it takes to develop a flavor profile that is consistent with a consumer favorability rating, over whelming positive is not a skill set most of us have according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

So, let’s tip our hat to Mondelez for doing just that for all of us.  Johnson, stated, “Mondelez International is now testing future-oriented snacking solutions with a ‘better-for-you’ twist that have been developed by its SnackFutures Innovation Hub in German supermarkets.” New products can drive new electricity into a restaurant brand, C-store, or Dollar Stores food sales while creating a platform of craveability according to Johnson.

The SnackFutures Innovation Hub new products include vegan snack bars made from ‘rescued’ ingredients and snack balls made from organic raw materials.  Regular readers of this blog know that the halo of ‘better-for-you’ is a hallmark driving growth within the grocerant niche filled with Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh or prepared food.

Why is this important? The simple answer is they have the time and talent and most of us do not.  So, SnackFutures goal is to develop novel snacking solutions along with new business models that are outside of their current core business.  Yes, they are looking a customer ahead.

In the USA, where the SnackFutures program began in 2018, innovative snacking product the ilk of CaPao and DirtKitchen are both now on the market for further development and testing. Mondelez is piloting different snacking concepts and brands.

For example, prototypes ready for the market are listed on a trial basis in select local grocery stores, which give the Mondelez team the chance to validate concepts under real world condition early in the development and innovation process, refine, retool, and reposition if needed.

SnackFutures, Kai Thornagel, heat of SanckFutures Hub Central Europe, stated, “For us there is no one methodical approach for the validation of concepts.  We always think backwards from consumer and make a hypotneses as to when, how, and where the consumers want to find a certain snacking solution.

Thornagel continued, stating, “In addition to launching our won innovative snacking solutions, we will concentrate more on establishing partnerships with start-ups.”  Do you have a product or ideation that you would like to take to the world?  Are you ready to drive new electricity for a company, a brand, or chain food retail?

According to Johnson, “Brand relevance is in part driven with innovation in new food products in combination with new avenues of distribution all of which are the platform for the new electricity.”  That said, what are you waiting for?

Johnson stated “that in my minds-eye the new electricity must be very efficient for the supply and includes such things as fresh foods, developing brands, unique urban clothing, grocerant positioning, fresh food messaging, autonomous delivery, cashier-less retail, plates, glasses, cash-less payments, digital hand-held marketing.

All retailers to survive the next generation of retail must embrace the artificial intelligence revolution while simultaneously embracing fresh food that is portable, fresh, with differentiation that is familiar not different. 

Are you looking for a new partnership to drive sales? Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing tactics look more like yesterday that tomorrow?  Visit for more information or contact: Remember success does leave clues and we just may have the clue you need to propel your continued success.

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