Kerry Innovation Center Explores Latest Culinary Trends

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Kerry Innovation Center Explores Latest Culinary Trends

Located at Kerry’s U.S. headquarters in Beloit, the T.N.D.C. interactively delves into the food and beverage industry by combining consumer insights with food science and application expertise.

“This discovery is done by immersing our customers in current marketplace trends and enabling them to view the industry through the eyes of the consumer,” said Jordan Miller, brand manager for Kerry Americas Region.

“It’s a great place for collaboration and to ideate around new concepts or extensions of current concepts,” said Courtney Schumacher, marketing specialist of the bakery for Kerry. “It’s a space to fully embrace that cross-functional team collaboration between our customers’ experts and our counterparts at Kerry.”

“We’ll reach out to our bakers in Asia and Europe and gather samples that are related or loosely related but might fit into a specific trend to spur further brainstorming,” said John Schmitz, research scientist of bakery research, development and applications for Kerry.

In the discovery center, an interactive screen takes up an entire 30-foot surround wall to provide a backbone of research on overarching trends such as a clean label, convenience, and nutrition. Here, the dive is supported by reams of market data on baking and snack categories along with a wealth of custom-developed consumer insights categorized by specific ethnic groups, generations, and other demographics.

“We have content built around several market categories as well as the consumer,” said Sian Cunningham, marketing insights analyst for Kerry. “We want to make sure it’s a really tailored engagement, so our customers get the most out of their day.”

Kerry just completed a proprietary research project gauging 700 consumers’ understanding of clean label.

The T.N.D.C. also features a full plug-and-play kitchen where Kerry’s chefs create a best-in-class lunch to demonstrate menu concepts, sample product prototypes and taste flavor options using the company’s vast portfolio of baking and snack ingredients.

The agendas of sessions vary by the customer from educational with a market and consumer trends; to innovation sessions with an outcome of creating solid paper concepts.

For engagements culminating in the creation of paper concepts, Mr. Schmitz and the rest of the application team may ramp up the paper concepts into physical concepts in Kerry’s bakery lab. Afterward, Kerry may conduct follow-up sensory and consumer research to determine which concepts are most viable and will work best with customers’ brands.

“Everything is meant to be hands-on,” said Jessica Vogel, senior marketing manager of meals for Kerry. “The sky’s the limit. Let’s take these ideas as far as we can and then find out what we can do, if not now, maybe a few years out.”

In the end, the key is to go beyond new product innovation to make a splash in the market.


Source: Food Business News

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