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Guest article

European nutrition innovation is dead? Long live fusion innovation!

By Peter Wennstrom , 12-May-2014
Last updated on 12-May-2014 at 15:08 GMT

Which way for European nutrition innovation?
Which way for European nutrition innovation?

Consensus was real innovation was difficult to perceive with the naked eye at Vitafoods Europe this year. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t exist, says Healthy Marketing Team president and expert consultant, Peter Wennstrom, in this guest article.

A person asked me,’ what is the iPhone of the nutrition industry?’ and I said ‘the iPhone is’.

It puts consumers in control of the information flow. It adds communication, individualisation and relationship building to any nutritional product concept. It also makes national boundaries a thing of the past with online purchasing and ordering of both pharma products and supplements.

Often, the most dramatic new innovations are those you don’t see.

Fusion innovation

The second area of innovation is cooperation in marketing and brand innovation where the old static supply chain is breaking up and we see companies in new creative constellations finding consumer-driven solutions leading to new product and business ideas that tend to disrupt the old ways of doing things.

An ingredient producer can go straight to the consumer; a brand owner can cooperate with a retailer and so on. We have seen fusion products in the consumer area, where categories converged to create new exiting solutions for consumers. Now it’s time for fusion innovation. 

Category convergence? Austria's Conchita Wurst won this year's Eurovision Song Contest. The alter ego of Thomas Neuwirth, he was the first bearded drag queen to win the annual event.

The word of the day is 'co-innovation' - with suppliers, brand owners, consumers, retailers, universities etc - B2B companies who have any ambition of being innovation partners to their customers need to redefine themselves as B2B2C companies. And that will be a challenge for both the traditional technology focused corporate culture and competence of the nutrition industry.

Hitech is starting to be balanced by Hitouch and it all happened right infront of our eyes at Vitafoods.

This weekend it also happened in the Eurovision song contest. Disruptive innovation based on category convergence won the show! Consumers all over Europe voted for the same winner...with their iPhones.

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