Innovation is no piece of cake

Food and drinks manufacturers must be equipped to respond to market change


Consumer product markets are characterised by constant market change, and the food and drinks sector is no different.

Manufacturers are turning to new and improved products to help them grow market share, and these products frequently come out of changing market demand and consumer preference.

However, only a small number of these succeed in the market; failure rates are sometimes upward of 90 per cent.

To stay relevant and successful —in some cases to survive —companies must be equipped to quickly create products and shift product portfolios.

It is not uncommon to see the failure of an iconic brand opening up a new innovation opportunity for others—at least, for those that can innovate quickly—to take their place.

Companies looking to drive growth through innovation must understand and effectively manage all stages of the innovation lifecycle – innovation planning, idea and concept development, product development, and optimisation of the product portfolio.

This will empower them to focus resources on the highest-value brand innovations and meet new customer needs, identify the right ideas to develop and bring successful new products to market.

Agile, fast-paced innovation requires quick, powerful decision making.

Manufacturers must have a system that facilitates collaboration on innovation goals and strategies, and provides executives and innovation leaders with insight into the impact that planned projects will have on revenues, market share, and resources.

By translating annual strategy into “living” innovation plans, they can quickly adapt activities and communicate updates as changes happen.

Leading innovators such as H.J. Heinz, PepsiCo and SABMiller rely on software, expertise and best practices from Sopheon, with its UK operations in Guildford, to maximise the effectiveness of their innovation performance.

Sopheon recently ran an online learning session to educate food and drinks manufacturers on a set of new leading practices that should be a priority as they focus on achieving sustainable growth through innovation.

This session is freely available on the Sopheon website.