A Consumer-Centric Open Innovation Framework for Food and Packaging Manufacturing

A Consumer-Centric Open Innovation Framework for Food and Packaging Manufacturing

Panagiotis Tsimiklis (Brunel University, London, UK), Fabrizio Ceschin (Brunel University, London, UK), Stephen Green (Brunel University, London, UK), Sheng Feng Qin (Northumbria University Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK), Jim Song (Brunel University, London, UK), Sharon Baurley (Royal College of Art, London, UK), Tom Rodden (University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK) and Charalampos Makatsoris (Brunel University, London, UK)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/ijkss.2015070104
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Abstract

Closed innovation approaches have been employed for many years in the food industry. But, this sector recently perceives its end-user to be wary of radically new products and changes in consumption patterns. However, new product development involves not only the product itself but also the entire manufacturing and distribution network. In this paper, we present a new ICT based framework that embraces open innovation to place customers in the product development loop but at the same time assesses and eventually coordinates the entire manufacturing and supply chain. The aim is to design new food products that consumers will buy and at the same time ensure that these products will reach the consumer in time and at adequate quantity. On the product development side, our framework enables new food products that offer an integrated sensory experience of food and packaging, which encompass customization, healthy eating, and sustainability.
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2. Approach/Model

The food industry is a mature and slow-growing one and is typically very conservative with the level of investment in new technology (Monsef et al., 2012). At the same time, it is a very active industry constantly seeking to identify and address the needs of new market segments, although innovation is restricted to incremental improvements of existing products (Sarkar and Costa, 2008).

The traditional closed innovation has been used for many years within the food industry. But, this sector recently perceives its end-user to be wary of radically new products and changes in consumption patterns (Sarkar and Costa, 2008). Such perceived wariness, together with the restricted legal requirements related to food safety, transforms food industry’s innovation process into a highly complex, time-consuming and risky “odyssey”, and hence one not to be lightly undertaken.

However, these recent important changes in the nature of both food demand and supply, coupled with an ever-increasing level of competitiveness, and the high volatility of global markets caused by the global financial crisis, have rendered innovation not only an unavoidable corporate activity, but also one that is increasingly vital for overall profitability and survival (Sarkar and Costa, 2008; Bigliardi and Galati, 2012).

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