In this first of two parts, we ask four of the esteemed 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.
Owner and editor, Dairy & Food Communications
As a degreed food scientist who has been tracking consumer trends and innovation for more than 25 years, I appreciate when all aspects of product development are thoroughly addressed by the companies participating in the World Dairy Innovation Awards. Here’s what I want to know:
What is the intent of the product? Is it to deliver nutrition? Provide convenience? To simply enjoy? Why does the market need this product?
What makes this product different to similar products in the marketplace? Does it require special ingredients or processing technology?
Were there any technical hurdles to overcome in its development? Does it use any patented technology?
What role does the package play? Is it just a vessel to carry the product or is a critical part of the concept?
How is the company communicating the benefits or value of the product to consumers?
I’ve seen many new products debut, and sadly, many fail. Never before has the pressure been so great to innovate – and quickly – to attract consumers and then keep them as customers. All food and beverage processors are ‘upping’ their game to appeal to millennials, that demographic that continues to disrupt the food industry with their cravings for adventure, flavour, information and simplicity.
The dairy foods industry is well poised to deliver on all of these attributes. That’s what I am looking for in the submissions to this year’s World Dairy Innovation Awards. They have to be products that attract consumers, deliver on product description and stay true to milk’s naturalness and purity. The real industry disrupters – and winners – will be the innovators who think beyond the traditional refrigerated and frozen dairy cases.
Click here to view Donna’s LinkedIn profile
Dairy industry expert
In judging the World Dairy Innovation Awards I will be looking for those products that not only have the ‘wow’ factor – in that they meet a consumer need in an entirely new way – but are also developed and designed with sustainability and the environment in mind. Specifically I will be looking for products and packaging that are restorative and regenerative by design, redefining products and services in a way that designs waste out while minimising negative impacts.
Click here to view Gail’s LinkedIn profile
Director of food, environment & health, European Dairy Association
What can innovation have to do with goals of sustainable development? An unusual context for pure-blood marketers, but part of the overall strategy of any company will be the position taken towards sustainability in the wider sense: how does the portfolio impact people and nature, in addition to the economic value? So, we might be interested in understanding if a new product comes to complement ideas of a company or not, if it can help answering consumer questions or further build business and government cooperation, if it has a role in a wider picture.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) published by the United Nations (UN) are highly ambitious, even if not really unknown: reducing poverty, increasing health, climate action, clean energy, responsible consumption, creating partnerships, and many more. They are important to solve and the consciousness of today’s consumers on these targets is higher than ever. The colourful design of the SDGs is a surprise to how easily such high aims can become simple as building blocks – a perfect twinkle to good innovation.
A different angle of such deep-founded innovation is to see the reception in the human nature of consumers – does the product resonate more deeply, does it come to a questioning of ours, can it appeal to the depth we have in ourselves? In today’s world, many trends resonate from questions of the consumer, or goals they strive at.
Yes, marketeers will have to bridge the unusal – and bring a handy, high-end designed, convenient-to-core product in line with values of tradition, nature, proximity as well as overall development. Trends can be important to follow in innovation – some new products just perfectly fit in a current inclination of consumers. Other products may open up their own and very special niche or even create trends. Dare to be yourself!
Of course, innovation for me cannot not live without pleasure – in design and in taste (even if we do not judge sensorially). So do not hesitate to make a product beautiful and delicious! Yes, I am looking forward to be surprised by how ‘simple’ such a perfect innovation can be to the receiver, whilst it hides the most complex product and production.
Click here to view Hélène’s LinkedIn profile
Founder, NPD Edge and co-founder, taste2taste.com
These are things I’ll be looking for in the World Dairy Innovation Awards:
Pack design and branding – Simplicity and ease of understanding the product through pack design, branding and on-pack communication. The name and product description should be easily communicated to the customer and consumer. How innovative is the pack format and design? This is the first thing a potential customer and consumer sees so is very important.
The story – What makes this product innovative? The creators, ingredients, sourcing, product design, process and recipe.
The product – What is the product? I’ll be considering the product description versus the product appearance from the picture. How innovative is the product? Can I imagine buying and eating it? Can I visualise how, where, when and why I would use or eat the product from the information provided.
Product uniqueness versus the current market – Does this product have a unique point of difference versus the competition and existing products on the market? What makes this product stand out?
Purchase intent, pricing and repeat purchase – How much does the product cost? Does it offer value or something different versus the competition to justify the price? Would I buy it to try once? Am I likely to buy again, based on the information provided and the other criteria.
Click here to view Lindsey’s LinkedIn profile
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