The Center of Innovation Excellence Uncovers Best Practices in Foodservice New Product Development

Posted by IFMA June 04, 2013

Tagged in Center of Innovation Excellence Discover Innovation

Chicago, Ill. (June 4, 2013) - To enable foodservice manufacturers to launch more profitable new products, The International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) and Stage-Gate International released a report charting four essential best practices in foodservice new product development. The report,"New Product Development: Best Practices in Foodservice", was produced through The Center of Innovation Excellence (CIE) and provides practical tools that promote better innovation efficiency and foster collaboration.

IFMA and Stage-Gate International established CIE to develop a standardized innovation framework for foodservice. Initial work conducted in 2011 provided a foundational understanding of how foodservice companies and their customers innovate. Continued work in 2012 delivered process benchmarks and metrics. The latest report in the series provides best practices and tools that can be easily implemented at any organization.

"Although PepsiCo Foodservice has an innovation process, we knew that the Center of Innovation Excellence's work would refine and expand our current process, serve as a guideline for the industry to increase collaboration amongst trading partners and provide much needed best practices," said Doug Allison, Vice President of Industry Relations, PepsiCo Foodservice. "This work is sure to be an important component of any company's process, regardless of their level of sophistication or amount of resources."

The report identifies four essential best practices:

  • Effective project selection means timely decisions and requires discipline. Top performers don't just rely on the acumen of their business leaders to make good project selection decisions; they instill an organizational discipline around accountability, transparency and due diligence to capitalize on new product opportunities.
  • A clear product innovation strategy enables speed to market. To win in this vast marketplace, top performers engage their business leaders to determine the role new products will play in enabling the successful execution of the business' strategy.
  • New product collaboration can unlock significant value, but we must choose wisely.  The industry's highly integrated network and multi-player value chain require top performers to screen for product innovation projects and partners that match their business goals and complement their capabilities.
  • Break the cycle of repeating the same mistakes; learn from your successes and failures.  To stay a step ahead of customers (and competitors), top performers capture key learnings from each new product project and use them to make strategic modifications to the process.

"The Center of Innovation Excellence's work showed us that while most foodservice suppliers rely on product innovation to grow their businesses, our industry lacked a trustworthy roadmap to new product success," said Larry Oberkfell, President and CEO, IFMA. "This new report delivers tried and true methods and helpful tools that are unique to foodservice."

"New Product Development: Best Practices in Foodservice" is available for purchase. 

CIE is funded and supported by the following IFMA members:

Aryzta/Otis Spunkmeyer, The Bama Companies Inc., Basic American Foods, Barilla, Bunge Oils, C.H. Guenther, Coca-Cola Foodservice & On-Premise, ConAgra/Lamb Weston, CSM Bakeries, Dannon, FoodHandler (BarrierSafe Solutions Intl.), General Mills Foodservice, Hobart (ITW), Insight Beverages, International Paper, Kellogg's Food Away From Home, Kerry Foodservice, Kraft Foodservice, Land O'Lakes Inc., Lyons Magnus, McCain Foods, Nestle Professional, The Original Cakerie, PepsiCo Foodservice, Procter & Gamble, Rich Products Corporation, Sara Lee Foodservice, Sargento, SCA Tissue North America, Schwan's Foodservice Inc., Surlean Foods, Sweet Street Desserts, Unilever Food Solutions and Ventura.

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