Global News of Significance

How Nestlé is taking Innovation to a new level

Global News of Significance

How Nestlé is taking Innovation to a new level

Consumer demands and expectations are continuously evolving, forcing retailers to seek new products to meet these needs. Innovation has thus become vital for the food industry and is critical to ensure profitability.

Innovation is vital for the food industry

Innovation in the food industry is a combination in areas of technology as well as culture. The ultimate innovation has to be throughout the entire food system, starting from production distribution, and including harvesting, primary and secondary processing, manufacturing, etc. The innovation must lead to a new or improved consumer product and service that satisfies the nutritional, personal, and social needs and wants of all communities.

Nestlé, one of the largest companies in the world and the undisputed leader in the food processing industry, is working to build a culture of innovation. Mel Cash, Chief Strategy Officer, Nestlé USA, via a blog has shared her thoughts on how the company aims to meet this goal.

The company has developed new technologies or installed profound structural changes to the ways work is done but for fostering innovation Nestlé sees people as the key.

The Swiss multinational food and drink processing conglomerate has built a culture built around the creativity of employees, where they have the permission to imagine new and innovative products, the resources to explore their big ideas, and the space to activate change and learn what works and what doesn’t.

What if projects

To test new products and business models that appeal to consumers’ evolving tastes, the company has developed the practice where the new Business Ventures team partners with teams across the business to encourage What if projects, lending their expertise on early-stage industry trends.

This partnership has helped Nestle to reach consumers in new ways. For example, there is a global shift in consumer behavior where they are now preferring to buy from digital platforms and direct from home, New Business Ventures team worked with brand teams who were asking the question: what if we could deliver directly to people’s homes? As a result, the company piloted a new delivery service model for freshly baked Toll House cookies. Nestle also partnered with ghost kitchens, DoorDash, GrubHub, and UberEats. Now, it is scaling this idea nationwide in the US.

Open Channel

Another step Nestle took is it has launched Open Channel, a crowd-sourcing initiative that taps into collective creativity. It gives employees the resources to explore new ideas. Open Channel is a platform that allows employees to submit big ideas or vote on ideas they like the most. Based on these ideas the company launched 23 innovative products

Internal Talent Marketplace

Another initiative to push innovation is the internal talent marketplace platform which is an AI-based system that matches employees’ skill sets with projects outside their function. These cultural programs help anyone in any role to become a creator and an innovator.

R+D Accelerator

R+D Accelerator is a unique platform by the food giant where start-ups, students, and intrapreneurs focus on emerging trends to develop product concepts in a six-month immersive ‘idea to shop’ program. Those who are part of this accelerator have been given access to the company’s state-of-the-art infrastructure and science, technology, and business expertise. This allows participants to move quickly – taking ideas from conception to execution over a short timeline,

Most importantly, Nestle has embraced failure as part of innovation and understands that it is essential to learning. Thanks to this culture, the company is using emerging technologies to develop innovative products that meet consumers’ desire to adopt nutritious, environmentally friendly diets.

Reach out to to know more about corporate open innovation updates, programs, and collaboration opportunities.

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