Food firms label now the time to innovate, cash the hurdle

Posted by James Ferre on 23rd November 2009

A survey of food manufacturers has indicated that almost all food firms believe that successful companies are driven by innovation, with a similar high majority arguing that now is a suitable time to do so.

SIAL’s inaugural ‘Barometer Innovation’ study showed that over half of the 355 global food and beverage firms saw cash as the major barrier to innovation. Cost cutting has been the order of the day for many executives in response to the worst financial climate for decades and finding the funds to be truly innovative has been difficult, food executives indicated.

Other key hurdles were human resources and technological capabilities.

Long-term trends driving new product innovation

Health and sustainability are at the forefront of much of the innovation in the industry and represent the greatest opportunity for sales gains, the executives forecast.

“For the next five years, industrialists count on developing their sustainability axis as well as new technologies or processes that will allow them to reduce costs,” the report advises, according to www.foodnavigator.com.

The survey also showed that manufacturers saw tie-ups with other food producers as the most efficient option for innovation, followed by retail combinations and links to universities.