Food Entrepreneur - October 12, 2021 - 13

Peter Heil, a pricing analyst at Nestle USA,
created the Brookie with help from innovation
leader Sarah Holley (left).
" The intrapreneurial process has
day to launch, " Mr. Munk said. " With
retail and reset dates, it could take a while,
so in many cases we'll start with a retailer
that's willing to take us on off cycle and
really test and incubate the product. "
Not all ideas are tied to an existing
brand in Nestle's portfolio. A few years
ago, Kelaine Cleary, then a manager in
contract manufacturing, presented the
idea for Blenderfuls, a new brand of
frozen smoothie cubes combining fruit,
vegetables and seeds that may be tossed
in a blender with milk or a plant-based
alternative. Following successful market
tests, Nestle is adding the product to its
Outshine lineup alongside the brand's
frozen fruit bar offerings.
" Typically, these founders are
brought on not only through development,
through launch, but also through
the pilot, " Mr. Munk said. " If it's successful
we'll hand it off to the businesses to
scale up. "
Open Channel serves dual
purposes, capturing a wide range
of innovative ideas while fostering
a strong and collaborative work
culture. Nestle, which has twice
landed on Fast Company's list of
Best Workplaces for Innovators,
is exploring additional ways to
use its scale and expertise while
replicating the speed and agility of
a startup to produce innovation,
Mr. Munk said.
" As the consumer evolves,
we need to evolve and, as we put
it, self-disrupt before we become
disrupted, " he said. " That's how we
look at it. How do we future proof
Nestle so we are not only as successful as
we were in the past 150 years but create a
successful company for the generations to
follow, for the next 150 years and beyond? "
'Passion and dedication'
Pringles Scorchin' and Cheez-It Loaded
Popcorn are among product concepts
proposed by Kellogg Co. employees participating
in internal innovation competitions.
The Battle Creek, Mich.-based company
hosts several programs and events
designed to nurture an entrepreneurial
spirit throughout the organization, said
D'anne Hayman, vice president of global
innovation and nutrition.
October 12, 2021
evolved over the years, " Ms. Hayman said.
" Our employees have become savvier as
they develop their ideas into opportunities.
They involve team members from
other functions like finance or supply
chain and, in the end, present a more holistic
commercial opportunity rather than
just a food prototype. "
Tiger Tank is an annual competition
inspired by " Shark Tank " that solicits
business ideas and rewards the winners
with funding and support. One winning
concept was not a food product but a
mobile app update to help low-income
families access nutritious foods through
the US Special Supplemental Nutrition
Program for Women, Infants and Children
Kellogg's summer interns also are
invited to participate in an annual innovation
challenge. One such event produced
the idea for Pop-Tarts Bites. This year's
challenge was held in partnership with
eighteen94 capital, Kellogg's corporate
venture capital fund.
" For seven weeks, the interns worked
in three groups to develop a new product
SnackFutures, a business unit dedicated
to innovating and investing in snacking
concepts. Operating independently, a
small team comprised of company veterans
collaborates with external partners
including food scientists, contract manufacturers,
retailers and others to quickly
develop, test and iterate new propositions.
To date, SnackFutures has created
and introduced five brands in the United
States and Europe.
" We were designed to explore
the frontier of snacking, particularly
in well-being, where we could find or
create incremental opportunities for our
consumers, " said Brigette Wolf, global
head of SnackFutures. " Our mantra for
SnackFutures is 'good for people, kind to
the planet, deliciously fun.' "
The team has identified opportuniPringles
Scorchin', Cheez-It Loaded Popcorn and Pop-Tarts
Bites are among product concepts proposed by Kellogg
employees and interns.
ties across key areas ranging from functional
foods to school snacks. Millie Gram
is a brand of nut-based spreads infused
with mushroom blends and ingredients
such as matcha, cacao and baobab. Ruckus
& Co. is a line of children's smoothies
formulated with fruits, vegetables and
seeds. NoCoƩ, a sustainable cracker brand
available in France, is certified
organic and relies on local suppliers
and production to reduce
carbon footprint.
" These are all new brands,
new products, sometimes new
technology, " said Gil Horsky,
global innovation director for
SnackFutures. " This is not just
making a new flavor of Oreo,
which I'm not undermining;
that can be a huge business. But
it's usually very new spaces for
the company. "
Another area of innovation
is next-generation fruit and vegetable
snacking, which inspired
the creation of Dirt Kitchen
pitch for one of three participating Kellogg's
eighteen94 investment companies,
Kuli Kuli, Siren Snacks or Taali Foods, " Ms.
Hayman said. " Each week, they met with
a Kellogg mentor to help guide them, offer
feedback and ensure that they were on the
right path. They studied their respective
businesses and pitched them an idea that
could potentially make it to market. We
were thoroughly impressed at the creativity,
passion and dedication the interns
embodied throughout this process. "
The future of snacking
Several years ago, Mondelez International,
Inc., Deerfield, Ill., established
Snacks. The brand's products include
air-dried vegetable and nut mixes and airdried
vegetable crisps made from surplus
or imperfect zucchini, grape tomatoes and
blushed bell peppers, said Katrina Borisjuk,
leader of Dirt Kitchen Snacks.
A newer launch from the brand
is a line of pressed bars incorporating
vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts with no
binders or added sugars. To produce the
bars, the team used technology developed
by Israeli startup Torr. SnackFutures
announced a seed investment in Torr late
last year.
The SnackFutures team is not
confined by the parent company's brands
or categories of cookies, crackers and
Food Business News

Food Entrepreneur - October 12, 2021

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