Four elements required for successful product innovation

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Many of today's consumers are passionate about the quality and healthfulness of their food, as well as the environmental footprint made by food and beverage manufacturers. To meet these expectations, food and beverage manufacturers must speed product introductions and develop new offerings that reflect the changing views on what is fresh, healthy, sustainable, and mindful. With modern technology in place, companies can seize the chance to speed introductions and offer new product lineups, which will appeal to consumers. This can be the ticket to future growth.

Disruptive product innovation

Product development and product innovation are not the same thing. Food and beverage manufacturers develop successful, new, and improved products all the time. But these are often just iterations of existing products—perhaps with new flavors, ingredients, or packaging to satisfy consumer trends. There’s not much innovation in that. The manufacturer that strives to disrupt the market with never-before-seen, unique, or superior products, however, is practicing true product innovation. Not that there’s anything wrong with being second to market—many manufacturers successfully follow that very business model. But the risk-takers who are willing to gamble on something that’s not tried-and-true and get to market before the competition, are the ones uniquely positioned to see margin advantages, grow business, and build brand loyalty.

Successful product innovation can take you from where you are today to where you could be tomorrow by optimizing and improving your company in the following areas:


  • Slow new product development time
  • Manual labeling and formula compliance administration
  • Duplicate data entry with limited checks and balances


  • Complete formulation system to accelerate development time
  • Automated label declaration created directly from formulas
  • One global dataset for faster decision-making and less errors

Food for thought

Today, food and beverage manufacturing processes are being innovated with the internet of things (IoT), as well as the industrial internet of things (IIoT), manufacturing execution systems (MES), cloud solutions, and other emerging technologies. Of course, no discussion of modern digital technology is complete without including machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and predictive analytics. The analytic and predictive power behind these technologies has the ability to impact virtually every corner of food and beverage manufacturing. It can be used to help:

  • Further refine formulas
  • Continually improve the accuracy of cost projections and other forecasts
  • Reduce time to market by helping to optimize the supply chain
  • Drive better product development by helping to better understand consumer behavior

And as technology continues to evolve, the opportunities to contribute toward innovation will only grow stronger. 

From development to successful delivery 

What comes next for the food and beverage industry depends in large part on what trends come and go, how consumer preferences continue to evolve, and how food safety regulations continue to evolve across the globe. Modern manufacturers must be able to nimbly respond to these challenges if they want to continue to innovate. To truly seize opportunities for product innovation, food and beverage manufacturers must work to eliminate IT silos between R&D, planning, manufacturing, sales, and marketing to make sure that all key players across the enterprise have visibility to the same data, business systems, and processes. Through collaboration and visibility into options and constraints tied to supply, demand, production, and regulations, manufacturers have the means to accelerate time to market and ensure they're making operational decisions that maximize profitability.

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