Innovation is seen by many companies in the food industry as a goal in itself in order to stay competitive in a highly globalized market. However most so-called innovations end up being a variation on an existing product or a downright copy of the competitors’ product. For us, real innovation starts by exploring the right questions. Why and what do we want to innovate and for whom?

Contrary to other business activities, innovation processes are creative, open ended and difficult to plan. For many organizations this is hard to handle since management is all about meeting performance targets. It is therefore important to create a safe context for exploration and experimentation without the pressure to deliver or to make profit.

Together with Dirk Osinga we developed the ‘100 New Things’ workshop, a workshop that uses design research to create one hundred new and different products or services. Instead of starting from the consumer or the existing product range we begin with a collaborative inquiry on the available production processes and the raw ingredients. Then we add a set of curated ingredients to the mix and start prototyping new ideas.

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