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How to innovate: Ignore competition – it’s boring and very 80s

By Kacey Culliney+

05-May-2014
Last updated the 06-May-2014 at 16:16 GMT

Manufacturers looking to succeed in innovation must forget competition and collaborate, says chocolate chef Dominique Persoone.

Speaking to FoodNavigator at Food Vision 2014 in Cannes, the chocolate chef said collaboration was the most powerful innovation trick in the book.

“It’s not just everyone has to stay on their own island… If you work together, you can do so much more,” he said.

“Secrets don’t exist anyway. Really, work together.”

Persoone said that in a digital age, connected by social media, collaboration was much simpler.

‘You have to make the click in your mind’

Asked if collaboration could potentially destroy competition, he said: “You have to make the click in your mind. Competition doesn’t exist, really. It’s boring, and it’s very 80s. Now you have to share with your friends and believe in your own project and own ideas.”

The future of chocolate: Think small…

Discussing the chocolate sector, Persoone said he hoped the future would see businesses downsize; a move that would improve the quality of chocolate products tremendously.

If you had one to three employees passionate about chocolate, doing a lot of research, sourcing the very best ingredients, he said the quality would be superior to mass production.

He said there were too many concerns over creating mass products that tasted the same every time; an impossible demand.  “The problem with the industry is, first, they want to have a standard flavor. The customer ordered something and every time it has to be the same flavor.”

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