Specialty Food Magazine

Spring 2018

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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BY EMILY CROWE 5 Tips for Product Innovation specialty food maker 68 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com Rather than a lightning bolt of inspiration, innovation is a process. Here are practical steps to jumpstart your next idea. E veryone hears they must innovate to stay competitive. Especially in food, on-trend products need to come to market faster than ever to be relevant. Not only does innova- tion keep brands at the forefront of an often-crowded market, but it also helps drive profitability and growth. Put quite simply: If you don't innovate, you die. Innovation can be particularly difficult for small, fledgling businesses, but Barb Stuckey, president and chief innovation officer at food developer Mattson, in Fremont, Calif., believes having a breadth of product lines is impera- tive for the health of any company. "It is hard because if your business is successful, you've got a business to run," she explains. "That comes first, but if you don't continue to innovate, your brand will age much faster." In a practical sense, though, how do you do it? Innovation can take work. While there's no magic solution, here are five practical tips to consider when you begin brainstorming your next product.

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