General Mills: Desperately seeking ‘transformational’ fruit …

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags General mills Open innovation

General Mills: Desperately seeking ‘transformational’ fruit …
General Mills is seeking a partner to help it develop "transformational fruit for yogurt products" that is visibly and texturally superior to the fruit on offer in existing products, without compromising its clean-label credentials.

The request - posted on its G-WIN innovation platform​ - is just one of several technical challenges the US-based firm has asked potential partners to solve as it cranks up its open innovation activities in order to bring better products to market, more quickly.

Possible approaches might include "high-quality fruit separated from the yogurt within the product or package - eg. variegated or partially mixed, fruit on top, sidecar package, overcap package etc​" and "unique fruit textures such as aerated fruit"​, says the firm.

It adds: "Prototypes must be submitted by January 21, 2011...General Mills will select prototypes or concepts that best fit the criteria. The ideas that resonate best with consumers will be developed into consumer concepts for testing. If your prototype is tested, the results will be shared with you in March 2011, and next steps determined based on those results."

Well-articulated business needs

While many rivals have embraced the principles of open innovation, General Mills has gone one step further by publishing detailed lists of technical problems it is trying to solve on its G-WIN website.

This was based on a recognition that success rests on well-grounded and well-articulated business needs, said Kamel Chida, connected innovation senior manager, who was speaking to at the Food and Drink Innovation Network’s open innovation conference in Daventry last year.

Critically, General Mills was not looking for ideas, but fully formed technologies or products, he explained.

“We are not looking for ideas. We are looking for solutions.”

Related topics NPD Chilled foods

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