Guest article

European nutrition innovation is dead? Long live fusion innovation!

Which way for European nutrition innovation?

Consensus was real innovation was difficult to perceive with the naked eye at Vitafoods Europe this year. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t exist, says Healthy Marketing Team president and expert consultant, Peter Wennstrom, in this guest article.

A person asked me,’ what is the iPhone of the nutrition industry?’ and I said ‘the iPhone is’.

It puts consumers in control of the information flow. It adds communication, individualisation and relationship building to any nutritional product concept. It also makes national boundaries a thing of the past with online purchasing and ordering of both pharma products and supplements.

Often, the most dramatic new innovations are those you don’t see.

Fusion innovation

The second area of innovation is cooperation in marketing and brand innovation where the old static supply chain is breaking up and we see companies in new creative constellations finding consumer-driven solutions leading to new product and business ideas that tend to disrupt the old ways of doing things.

An ingredient producer can go straight to the consumer; a brand owner can cooperate with a retailer and so on. We have seen fusion products in the consumer area, where categories converged to create new exiting solutions for consumers. Now it’s time for fusion innovation. 

The word of the day is 'co-innovation' - with suppliers, brand owners, consumers, retailers, universities etc - B2B companies who have any ambition of being innovation partners to their customers need to redefine themselves as B2B2C companies. And that will be a challenge for both the traditional technology focused corporate culture and competence of the nutrition industry.

Hitech is starting to be balanced by Hitouch and it all happened right infront of our eyes at Vitafoods.

This weekend it also happened in the Eurovision song contest. Disruptive innovation based on category convergence won the show! Consumers all over Europe voted for the same winner...with their iPhones.

Related News

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

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

The nutritional ingredients industry must also create educational category platforms to enable growth, warns Peter Wennstrom.

Put consumer education before health claims, says marketing expert

Mindreader: The supply chain begins in the mind of the consumer...

Welcome to the era of Nutrition. Are you ready for it?

“We’ve never seen consumers as confused” (about what is ‘good for you’), said PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi.

Consumers are food confused...Are you helping?

Photo credit: Michael Dee Photo

From self-heating packaging to hand-painted grocery bags, the world of food packaging is seeing some exciting trends

'The adoption of these technologies will take place at an increasingly rapid rate, particularly in the case of food.' © iStock/Pepsikan

Is your firm ready for 3 waves of disruptive food innovation?

Exploring novelties at Vitafoods Europe 2014

Exploring novelties at Vitafoods Europe 2014

Chocolate chef certain about the power of collaborative innovation

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

Jeff Hilton: “Research has demonstrated that the demand for functional foods exists, but without a proper understanding of the market, many brands are missing the mark when it comes to a successful launch.”

Functional foods resist recession but failure rate stays high: Analyst

Involving consumers and innovating beyond comfort zones enables success, say experts

Innovation success recipe: Respect consumers and draw inspiration from the unknown

Spockumentary: MicroWarriors explores probiotics and the human microbiome in highly logical detail

MicroWarriors: Exploring probiotic power (and the powers that be)