Kraft focus on innovation is food for growth

by | Jun 25, 2012

Food giant Kraft is adopting innovation as a way of increasing sales through its “glocal” approach to new product development.

The brand has released figures showing overall revenue from new products increased from 7.4 per cent in 2009 to 10.5 per cent in 2011.

“Research and development is the fuel for our growth engine,” said Kraft’s executive vice president for research, development and quality, Jean Spence.

Kraft currently has 15 facilities around the world specifically devoted to R&D, including centres in Brazil, Singapore and China. It spends $700m each year on innovation and employs around 3,300 scientists.

The resources allocated to innovation have paid off, with 70 new products launched in the last 12 months.

Chinese consumers in particular are willing to welcome innovation, with new products sales accounting for around 30 per cent of the total in China.

The work of its scientists will become a template of sorts that will be taken to international markets, making one of Kraft’s priorities going “glocal”: local innovation being spread to a global market.

Warc.com reports that Kraft is the company with the second best innovation strategy in the US, according to a recent survey.

There were 48.6 per cent of survey respondents who said they would be most likely to buy and try a new product from Kraft. The company was not too far behind chocolate brand Hershey, who scored 52.8 per cent on the survey.

Jeffrey Tobias

About Jeffrey Tobias

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well-known startups.

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Managing Director, The Strategy Group

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well known startups. Jeffrey’s corporate background includes leading global innovation strategy at Cisco, working with large corporates such as Adobe, Westpac, Telstra, Woolworths, and Perpetual.

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