Will a different kind of ‘innovation hub’ open the future to food growth opportunities?
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the bi-monthly e-zine, CPGmatters.
Mondelēz International has launched an “innovation hub” called SnackFutures that aims to harness both internal and external resources, including early-stage entrepreneurs, to invent and reinvent products, brands and entire businesses in key strategic areas.
Many other consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies have initially kept dealings with startups more segregated, such as incubators and accelerator programs.
“The structure is indeed unusual, and that was intentional,” Brigette Wolf, head of SnackFutures Innovation, told CPGmatters. “SnackFutures is dedicated to unlocking snacking growth opportunities and is unique in several ways. We believe the best way to serve consumers in the future is by connecting world-class internal experts and talent with cutting-edge external partners to create exciting, forward-thinking solutions.”
Ms. Wolf said that Mondelēz was “mindful in how we wanted to set up SnackFutures’ approach to innovation. We are building relationships across our ecosystem of partners and entrepreneurs to be collaborative, flexible, experimental and grounded in curiosity and passion for consumers. It is not a one-size-fits-all.
“SnackFutures utilizes existing innovation approaches and gives us more dedicated resources to really accelerate our innovation activity. We’re learning and adjusting our approach based on what we see, and we think we’ve both a unique proposition here with inventing, reinventing and venturing under one roof.”
What’s more, the SnackFutures’ team reports to Tim Cofer, Mondelēz’s chief growth officer. “This means we will be able to fast-track development and iterations of certain products or steps in the R&D process as well as have a suite of capabilities on hand,” Ms. Wolf said.
Digital snack platforms and capabilities are one of the three high-growth areas that will be the focus of SnackFutures, including exploring snacks online and order and delivery of Mondelēz products. The other two main targets will be “well-being” snacks and ingredients, such as innovations that involve fruits and vegetables and gut health, and premium snacks and ingredients, such as those tailored to demographics or diet, such as seniors and vegans.
The parent of iconic snack brands including Oreo, Ritz, BelVita, Cadbury, Toblerone and Sour Patch is positioning SnackFutures to contribute a robust $100 million to revenue growth by 2022.
- Kraft Heinz Aims to Create Growth through Digital Transformation – CPGmatters
- Mondelēz International Launches SnackFutures Innovation Hub to Lead the Future of Snacking – Mondelēz International
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What challenges do major CPG companies face trying to collaborate with entrepreneurial talent? What advantages and disadvantages to you see in the way the SnackFutures program was designed?