Creme Global

Open Innovation in the Food Industry

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Open Innovation in the Food Industry

There are major new drivers impacting how consumers make choices about the foods they will spend money on. The food industry is responding to these drivers by developing new and innovative products. This has led to the development and marketing of more sophisticated food products from functional foods to nutraceuticals.

From the earliest food supply drivers such as survival and satisfaction of hunger, the food industry has evolved through phases, where the development of foods is driven by higher level consumer desires such as indulgence, conscience and more recently impact on health.

Whereas yesterday's food market was driven by taste and safety, today's consumer is driven by taste, safety, health and well being.

This is an important shift which has pitched food companies into the Health and Wellbeing market. This is a competitive space occupied by agriculture companies, consumer product companies, biotech companies and pharmaceutical companies. It is a growing and fast moving market where the lines between food and medicine are becoming blurred.

Open Innovation

Open Innovation is the term that refers to the current thinking that companies cannot afford to rely entirely on their own research, but should instead buy or license processes or inventions from other companies. In addition, internal inventions not being used in a firm's business should be taken outside the company.

Food companies are turning to open innovation to access the novel technologies, expertise and intellectual property they need from organisations around the world. Firms embracing Open Innovation use external as well as internal ideas in their research and development. They also use internal and external paths to market to capitalise on their opportunities. These companies are developing teams of people dedicated to connecting with organisations outside their own company to discuss innovative technologies and opportunities.

So what are the implications of this shift in focus, from traditional in-house R&D to open collaborative methods, for food research, nutrition and safety?


Collaborative research and communication are vital in integrating the ideas of Open Innovation. The World Wide Web provides a powerful communication opportunity for researchers. Collaboratively funded key research grants from government agencies such as the EU framework program or the USDA help to stimulate and integrate research. The CREMe Research Network provides a forum for researchers to discuss potential collaborative research opportunities.


CREMe 2.0 Food allows you to perform detailed research into the ever-changing food consumption and nutritional requirements of consumers. This allows industry to target key nutritional requirements for different demographic groups that are not currently being met by current food consumption habits. CREMe provides scientifically validated models which allow you to analyse opportunities to increase nutritional levels in the diets of consumers. The CREMe tool comes with data sets pre-installed and ready to use for the US, Europe and Asia.

Substantiating Health Claims

Food manufacturers claiming health benefits from functional foods must ensure that their claims are scientifically substantiated. The CREMe 2.0 Food tool allows you to combine your data with our scientifically validated models to accurately predict consumer intake of functional ingredients. This intake information can be directly linked to health benefits via our bio-availability models.

Food Safety

Food safety issues have to be addressed when you are dealing with novel and fortified foods. Governments, industry and researchers have a responsibility to ensure that consumers will not be over-exposed to any chemicals which may cause harm. In order to deal with the diversity of people's eating habits and the uncertainty of the levels of intakes, CREMe 2.0 Food provides probabilistic food safety assessment models which allow these issues to be addressed with confidence.

In an Open Innovation supply chain, additional links are added to the supply chain. Each link in the chain has to ensure safety for the end consumer. Communication and sharing of information and data on food safety issues are important. CREMe 2.0 Food facilitates this information sharing through its online data sharing tools.

If you would like more information on how we enable organisations to deal with the above issues, please contact us.

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