SUBSCRIBE

Breaking News on Food & Beverage Development - EuropeUS edition | APAC edition

News > Market Trends

Read more breaking news

 

 
Dispatches from Vitafoods Europe 2014

The invention test: True innovations are commercial successes and transform consumer's lives

1 comment

By Nathan Gray+

13-May-2014
Last updated on 13-May-2014 at 14:15 GMT2014-05-13T14:15:05Z

The invention test: True innovations are commercial successes and transform consumer's lives

Innovation is a buzzword that is repeated all the time, but what does it really mean? Not a lot in the way it is currently used, according to industry expert and strategy analyst Virpi Varjonen of Invenire.

Speaking to us at the recent Vitafoods Europe and Finished Products Europe show in Geneva, Varjonen suggested that there is a lack of true innovation within the food and nutrition sector - warning that 'innovation' and related terms are fast becoming meaningless buzzwords.

"There's so much talk about innovation. Whether it is in a conference, or on the show floor with companies presenting new products ... innovation is repeated all the time, but what does it really mean?"

As part of her work with Invenire and as our guest blogger for the show, Varjonen headed out to speak to companies claiming to be 'innovative' to try and find a more firm definition of the word.

"I went out and I asked people how they would define innovation ... and the answers I got were a little bit striking."

According to Varjonen's conversations at the show, innovation is rooted in science and research - and is generally related to new technologies, ingredients, or even health claims legislation.

"For me, as a market researcher ... I would call that invention, and not innovation."

"Invention is something that people have developed, and now they are introducing it. But we have no idea whether it's going to be commercially successful or not."

This is the key problem, she said. Noting that many inventions labelled as innovative have not been shown to be that in a commercial setting.

"Innovation is really something that will change the world in the marketplace, and from a consumer's point of view really be there at the interface with consumers."

She suggested that industry needs to think more about what consumers are, how they live life, and try to find true innovations that 'can make the difference in that consumer's life.'

1 comment (Comments are now closed)

Innovation does not contribute to market over-saturation

in the first place all your readers are not sitting in audio muted spaces. I sent this to a friend before I opened it myself and the smegging auto run blasted his cube mates out of their chairs. (thanks EVER so much for that) Some of your "Readers" can actually "read" you know?
2ndly. the problem we have is too many look alike products that have too few distinctions from what's already on market ...chasing too few dollars ... yet another look-alike hairbrush etc. And the producers count on selling the products NOT to the the job they are (supposedly) aimed at; instead ... if you're an ugly guy? buy a corvette and it'll make you not ugly instead of buy a corvette cause it's a good car. Madison Ave. needs a tactical nuke and then maybe we'll see "innovation" again. "If advertisers spent the same amount of money on improving their products as they do on advertising then they wouldn't have to advertise them". William Penn Adair Rogers

Report abuse

Posted by John C. Campbell III
13 May 2014 | 16h102014-05-13T16:10:18Z

Stealth carrots and vegetable ingredients

Stealth carrots: How veggies are finding victory in F&B

Carrots might look dull compared to trendy super fruits and leafy vegetables, but the...

Sustainability and farming: SVZ Ingredients

What does sustainability mean to you?

Successful sustainability initiatives need to consider how farmers work and think, and involve co-operation...

Cornelius’ future suite-smelling as new lab opens for business

Cornelius’ future suite-smelling as new lab opens for business

Darren Spiby, Joy Thomas

CEO, Business technical development manager, Cornelius

From 'good sugar' to reformulation R&D: The companies that welcome sugar taxes

From 'good sugar' to reformulation R&D: The companies that welcome sugar taxes

A sugar tax might be bad news for some manufacturers but for others it's...

Video: If Donald Trump becomes US president, would it be good for your business?

Video: If Donald Trump becomes US president, would it be good for your business?

Presidential hopeful Donald Trump has vowed to bring back jobs to America by ripping...

Trends in fats and oils: It's all about minimal processing, novel ingredients & changing the plant's genetic profile

Trends in fats and oils: It's all about minimal processing, novel ingredients & changing the plant's genetic profile

Consumers are confused over the healthiness of saturated fats, worried about chemical contaminants in...

Lycored survey says consumers will pay more for natural colors

Lycored survey says consumers will pay more for natural colors

Christiane Lippert

Head of marketing (food), Lycored

Heard of himanthalia? Dutch start-up aims to replace carb-heavy pasta with seaweed

Heard of himanthalia? Dutch start-up aims to replace carb-heavy pasta with seaweed

Himanthalia - or sea spaghetti - may not be commonly known. But as a...

UK sugar tax: The big questions

UK sugar tax: The big questions

The UK has announced a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. But how hard will it...

FiE 2015: Our best bits

FiE 2015: Our best bits

Our teams of journalists were out in force at Food Ingredients Europe (FiE) last...

New tech on EFSA’s horizon: Crowdsourcing and cyber assistants

New tech on EFSA’s horizon: Crowdsourcing and cyber assistants

New technology like crowdsourcing and artificial intelligence computers is the future of risk assessment,...

Lab meat, plant proteins and insects: Which alternative proteins will feed the world?

Lab meat, plant proteins and insects: Which alternative proteins will feed the world?

The quest for alternatives to animal-derived proteins has led to a huge amount of...

Food firms should prepare for pre-recession spending

Prepare for pre-recession spend – top economist

Food manufacturers should prepare for a positive three years ahead, as the changing economy...

Creepy proteins will be hot

New proteins are creeping on trend

Alternative proteins are a “hot area” of interest and products such as sandwich spreads...

Salt reduction not a priority for UK consumers: LoSalt survey

Salt reduction not a priority for UK consumers, finds LoSalt survey

Caroline Klinge

sales and marketing manager, LoSalt

‘Nice wine, no corkscrew?’ Mirabeau En Provence wins 8m+ YouTube views

‘Nice wine, no corkscrew?’ Mirabeau En Provence solution strikes YouTube gold with 8 million+ views

Mirabeau En Provence owner Stephen Cronk says the desire for a direct consumer connection...

DSM claims craft brewer interest in gluten-free beer enzyme

DSM claims craft brewer interest in gluten-free beer enzyme

DSM Food Specialities claims that, far from being cautious, craft brewers are embracing the...

Smoothie brand Froosh warns of ‘social washing’ within supply chain

Smoothie brand Froosh warns of ‘social washing’ on supply chain sustainability

Scandinavia’s top-selling smoothie manufacturer Froosh has called for ‘trade not aid’ in developing countries...

Key Industry Events

On demand Supplier Webinars

Look inside the clean label trend
Ingredion
All supplier webinars