Winners in last year's World Dairy Innovation Awards celebrate with their trophies.
In this second of two parts, we ask four more judges in the World Dairy Innovation Awards – to be held in Warsaw, Poland – what they are hoping to see from entries.
Hopefully their responses will act as a useful guide for your application and inspire you to enter, showcasing your latest R&D achievements in front of an audience of industry professionals at the Global Dairy Congress this June.
To find out more about the World Dairy Innovation Awards, including how to enter and what benefits entrants receive, please click here.
Executive director, The Society of Dairy Technology
I have been a dairy technologist all of my working life and in that time dairy products have been in and out of fashion nutritionally. Nutritionists and dieticians are now realising just how important dairy is to good health. In my opinion innovations in dairy should reflect the health benefits of dairy products and therefore should not damage this by having ingredients that are perceived to be unhealthy.
There are real data showing that the move away from dairy by young people is having a negative effect on their health and I am hoping to see innovations that draw this group back to dairy.
My five main criteria when judging are:
Does the product have appeal for the target market? It is fine to design a product that you like, but if no-one else buys it, it just isn’t going to succeed.
Will the innovation encourage customers to try the product?
Does the packaging reflect the image of the product? If you are designing a product with a healthy image, don’t over-package it as customers are getting much more aware of the damage that packaging can do to the environment.
Remember that it isn’t necessarily the quirky product that will last in the market. Products that have longevity are the real winners, so don’t try to create the square wheel as the round one has been shown to be the real winner.
Finally, make sure that your product will do what it says it will! Good luck.
Click here to view Liz’s LinkedIn profile
Partner and managing director, Food-X
Seeing the best and brightest on the World Dairy Innovation Award stage will be one of this year’s high points. Being one of the first to see the new emerging brands which will help shape the dairy product landscape is a real honour.
As a judge, I’ll be looking for the same things we look for from our applicants at Food-X, specifically companies with:
A big idea – How they’ll make their chosen category better and more relevant for consumers. A big idea which, if they manage to realise it, will make them one of the leaders in their category over the next decade.
A vision – Seeing a gap or opportunity in the market, a strong affinity to where consumers are moving. Not duplicating or mimicking other brands and products but being prepared to lead.
A clean execution – A simple, clean execution of the idea or vision so that it’s instantly apparent how the product meets its consumers’ needs and desires.
A great team – A team who can pull off the full potential of the brand and products being built and realise its place in the market.
I’m really looking forward to seeing the applicants and finalists for the World Dairy Innovation Awards for 2018.
Click here to view Andrew’s LinkedIn profile
Yumiko Magara Wilkey
Senior insight manager, Zenith Global
I am excited to be sitting in the judging panel of the World Dairy Innovation Awards once again this year, and very much look forward to seeing the latest dairy product innovations.
I am particularly interested in the originality and simplicity of the product’s concept. There are so many new products launched and yet some are more interesting than others. Personally it is often the first impression that counts when it comes to spotting a new product in store. It does not have to be distinctively different but yet does it have that ‘it’ factor which stands out from the rest? Also, is the product’s concept communicated clearly and simply? Increasingly more consumers are influenced by the brand story behind the product.
Secondly, the health and wellness trend has had a great impact on the food and beverage industry and dairy is not an exception. Consumers are now educating themselves via social media on functional ingredients and how best to incorporate them into their lives. Therefore I will be looking at how well the product is responding to these consumer needs, and in what ways.
Next, authenticity and transparency of the product. Consumers today are becoming more interested in the ethical practices of manufacturers. Buying from ethically savvy companies automatically gives the ‘conscious’ consumer a feel-good factor to be part of it and this is increasingly becoming an important part of buying.
Lastly, the use of social media has become so powerful today. It now takes a lot more than just on-pack messages to grab consumers’ attention and I would be interested to learn various styles of marketing for the latest dairy innovations.
Click here to view Yumiko’s LinkedIn profile
President, Board of the Association of Polish Dairy Processors
The topic of evaluating innovation is quite complex. For example, we can find a lot of products on the market whose innovation features might be questionable. Sometimes the label of ‘innovative product’ is often just a marketing trick. We are all aware of the fact that manufacturers do not introduce innovative products on a daily basis due to the high risk involved. However, for this reason alone, it is worth searching for and rewarding those entrepreneurs who were able to bring true innovation to the market.
The features I would like to take into account when evaluating entries for World Dairy Innovation Awards 2018 are as follows:
I hope that all these factors will significantly help us to choose the best innovative dairy product in 2018.
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