"New ideas need to be nurtured"

Critic-free innovation: What snack makers should learn from students

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Packaging

Snack manufacturers can follow in the footsteps of design students – innovating positively, without a critical mind, says a market expert.

At Anuga FoodTec 2015 in Cologne, a group of students from the Köln​ International School of Design worked daily to develop packaging concepts for industry, developing prototypes within a day.

One group developed a snack sharing product called Grab & Bite. The bucket-shaped pack contained mittens in the lid made from a stretchy material, enabling snackers to grab the product without getting messy hands. The team had designed these mittens to look like sharks and other animals for added fun.

Dmitry Kuznetson, one of the students behind the project, said the product held particular appeal for kids.

“I really think kids are going to love it and (…) maybe it can be a way of making kids eat more healthy food, or just more chocolate – just make it more fun,”​ he told BakeryandSnacks.com.

He said the pack design would work on larger share-size buckets, but also smaller ones for individual use.

‘Brilliant’ concept with limited edition promise

Sjoerd Post, food packaging analyst at Innovia Market Insights, described the concept as “brilliant”​ but said the extra materials would throw up food safety and price issues for manufacturers.

However, he said the concept could work well as a premium, limited edition pack for kids – much like Tic Tacs’ multipack sold at airports.

“If you think about it that way, you can spend a bit more on your packaging and create more brand awareness and novelty,”​ he said.

A lesson in enthusiasm

Post said a lot could be learned from how the students developed the idea.

“If you talk to them, they’re really enthusiastic about their ideas and they don’t think about any of the problems that they might face later on.

“… When you think about innovation or new product ideas, the first thing you need to forget about is being critical. New ideas need to be nurtured – you need to put positive energy into it otherwise it’s not going to work,”​ he said.

Snack makers, he said, could learn to be enthusiastic and positive in the early stages of innovation like these students, rather than focusing on problems and pitfalls which was so often the case.

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