Unpacking Innovative Ideas in the CPG Industry
Innovation in Consumer Packaged Goods
The CPG and Food & Beverage Industries must continuously innovate to keep their market share and follow fluctuating consumer demands, all while functioning profitably in a manufacturing environment that depends on endless factors: supply chain availability, maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) of production facilities, workforce reliability, and the integration of AI enabled tools for purchasing, inventory quality control, and consumer-tracking data. Now more than ever there is unlimited innovative potential in CPG, and the variety of brands that best harness their creative visions and deliver superior goods will be their companies’ most popular and profitable products.
Part I : CPG Strategies for Growth and Innovation
To develop the best strategy for your complex CPG Innovation Portfolio, refer back to a previous article.
- Utilizing Open Innovation for R&D
- Studying Past Trends for Future Forecasting
- Managing a Portfolio of Innovative Projects
Part II : Endless Opportunity for Industry Change
Reduce or Reinvent CPG Packaging
More than ever CPG Executives know listening to the consumer is paramount, and customers are demanding industry change in social responsibility and environmental sustainability within these company’s extensive product lines. How are leaders in the CPG and Food & Beverage industries responding to these calls to action? Products can be packaged differently, produced with sustainable materials, and improvements in overall circularity can be implemented; but it’s the innovators who focus their efforts on transforming entire business models who are making the most impactful strides in responsible CPG manufacturing.
Previously we highlighted the innovation leader Procter & Gamble. Marc Pritchard, P&G’s Chief Brand Officer, states,
“We believe that we have a responsibility to use innovation to not only grow our business but to also help improve society. Whether that’s creating formulas that save energy or save water, reducing and recycling plastic or making drinking water clean. Our innovation helps us to be a force for growth so that we can be a force for good in the world.”
Numerous industry leaders who share these sentiments are focusing on upstream innovative solutions for replacing or minimizing CPG packaging. Rather than solving for recycling waste, they strive to design new methods that produce less waste on the front end. Researching new methods to deliver premium products but without the traditional and excessive plastic and paper packaging is their mission. Techniques include dissolvable coatings, concentrated products, smart in-store bulk dispensers, as well as at-home refillable processes using newly developed tablets and pods.
There are also companies innovating the behaviors of the CPG product experience and lifecycle. Customers who want to avoid wasteful single use products and who value the health of the environment over their personal convenience are looking to organizations like TerraCycle’s Loop program. This is designed as a circular system that empowers consumers to purchase products in durable, reusable packaging within a paid deposit platform. After the product is gone, they can easily dispose of the container by returning it unwashed for reuse and the deposit for the use of that container is returned back to the customer. It reduces waste, saves the company money on materials, and puts the burden of cleaning and refill back into production rather than the consumer which promotes program loyalty and consumer ease of use.
Circularity and Sustainable Products
What other CPG companies are shifting their businesses to be a force for good in our world? The list is growing, but here are some terrific examples:
- Eliminating “conflict diamond” mining, Aether Diamonds uses renewable energy through carbon capture technology to manufacture perfect stones.
- Dismissing the wasteful “fast fashion” of the past, apparel industries are utilizing sustainable plant fibers in innovative fabrics and recycling programs are trending for a modern spotlight on circularity.
- Change makers Gelyma and Aethic source the biological knowledge of plants and algae to form new compounds for ocean-friendly sunscreens.
- Furniture circularity leader, Floyd, prides itself on tackling the disposable furniture culture.
- Food and Beverage companies are sourcing environmentally conscious ingredients and inventive plant plastics for packaging to deliver fresher, healthier options to consumers. One company, Wheyward Spirit, partnering with the dairy industry, uses a zero-waste approach to craft an innovative alcohol from cheese manufacturing byproducts. Many more great examples of innovative food and beverage companies: ezassi.com/food-beverage-innovation
Part III : Be Proactive With Innovative Software for Technology Scouting
Ezassi provides a platform to research new technology, collect and track innovative ideas, and manage beneficial collaborations in the CPG industry. Our Innovation Management tools strengthen and enhance your company’s portfolio of brands and products.