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Procter & Gamble Claims Invention Will Help Consumers Get Rid Of Unsightly Body Hair

December 17, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble filed a patent for an invention it claims will reduce the appearance of body hair when used as ingredients in cosmetics. Using a “film forming polymer” and a dermatological carrier, the ingredient can be incorporated with gels, creams, pastes, tonics, and other delivery systems. P&G claims its invention can meet consumer demand for products that reduce body hair without using less effective solutions, such as depilatory creams, shaving, and electrolysis.
Chris BARKER, "P&G develops gel to reduce the appearance of body hair", Cosmetics Design, December 17, 2013, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Innovation
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Personal Care
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Tesco Adopts Electronic Shelf-Labeling Technology And In-Store Product Data App

December 2, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Tesco’s Innovation Team said it is trying out in the retailer’s stores the Electronic Shelf Edge Labels electronic shelf-labeling system and a mobile app designed to help store clerks access information on product availability and other data. As part of the group’s task of looking for technologies that can potentially improve customers’ shopping experience and make employees’ job easier, the Innovation Team tested the electronic labeling system in several markets including Hungary. Based on test results, the retailer then installed in UK stores the system, which uses e-ink technology used in ebook readers and helps reduce the amount of time spent by store employees on updating shelf labels. Designed for use on Tesco’s hudl tablet, the mobile app enables store employees to access product data instantly.
Mike McNamara, "Changing the way we work", Tesco, December 02, 2013, © Tesco
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Henkel Expands Production Capabilities At Austrian Plant

November 25, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Henkel’s Vienna, Austria, manufacturing plant will be producing window cleaners marketed under the Clin brand after an expansion of capabilities. The company invested in two new filling lines now in production, and expects to spend €12 million to further expand production in the Vienna facility, which supplies products to 14 countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Most of the brand-name products manufactured there are fabric softeners (Silan), heavy-duty detergents (Persil, Dixan, Weißer Riese) and hand dishwashing detergents (Pril). The Vienna plant converted to LED lighting, brought a combined heat and power plant online, and implemented new chemical formulas requiring less energy in the production process.
"Henkel expands its production plant in Vienna", News release, Henkel, November 25, 2013, © Henkel AG & Co. KGaA
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P&G's Wella Announces ME+ Allergen-Free Hair Coloring Molecule

October 31, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble’s Wella salon professional brand announced the ME+ hair dye molecule the company claims will change hair coloring by combining excellent permanent color capability with lower risk of developing allergy. Wella claims ME+ is the first hair dye technology capable of delivering full permanent coloring with reduced risk of developing allergic reaction compared with current formulas based on para-phenyleneadiamine or pPD and paratoluenediamine or pTD molecules. For decades, scientists have been trying to create replacements for pPD and pTD, which are essential ingredients for most of permanent hair colorants currently in the market today, but are known to trigger allergic reactions in hair dye products.
"Wella ME+", Procter & Gamble, October 31, 2013, © Procter & Gamble
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Kroger's Direct Mail Marketing Shows Retailer Knows About Customers' Buying Behavior Better Than They Do

October 28, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Grocery store chain Kroger partnered with customer data specialist dunnhumby to develop direct mail marketing materials that are tailor-fit to each of its customers based on their personal preferences. Kroger said the mailed coupons have a redemption rate of over 70 percent within six weeks after mailing. Also, its direct mail marketing has generated $10 billion in revenue for Kroger, the company said. Its quarterly direct mail marketing materials contain 12 coupons specifically designed for each household. According to the companies, 80 percent of dunnhumby’s efforts are focused on what they know about a customer, with the remaining 20 percent focused on finding out more information about the customer.
Tom Groenfeldt, "Kroger Knows Your Shopping Patterns Better Than You Do", Forbes, October 28, 2013, © Forbes.com LLC™
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Procter & Gamble Announces Permanent-Color Hair Dye Molecule

October 8, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble’s Wella Salon Professional division said it has developed the ME+ molecule, the world’s first hair dye that offers full permanent color performance and color spectrum. P&G claimed at the 2013 Conference of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology that the hair dye also comes with reduced risk of developing allergy. Developed through more than 20 years of research and development, the 2-Methoxymethyl-p-Phenylenediamine molecule does not include pPD and pTD, which are the most common allergy triggers for some users of hair dyes.
Andrew McDougall, "P&G announces first permanent hair dye molecule with reduced allergy risk", Cosmetics Design, October 08, 2013, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Cincinnati P&G Employees Trimmed In P&G’s Global Downsizing Launch New Businesses

October 8, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Three dozen former Procter & Gamble employees who lost their jobs in the company’s $10 billion restructuring beginning in 2012 have launched businesses in the Cincinnati area. The P&G restructuring has eliminated more than 6,400 non-manufacturing jobs globally . Employment in the Cincinnati area remains at about 12,000, but more than 1,000 regional executives have left the company in the last two years. The spike in entrepreneurship comes as P&G helps fund a $51 million initiative to make Cincinnati friendlier for new startups. The Cintrifuse initiative invests in venture capital firms from other cities who might consider local companies for new investments. Some, but not all, of the new start-ups have taken advantage of the P&G-backed initiative.
Dan Monk, "P&G restructuring spawned dozens of new companies in the Cincinnati area", WCPO Digital, October 08, 2013, © Scripps Media, Inc
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Patent Issued For Making “No-Bake” Granola Bars

September 24, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
General Mills scientists have been issued a U.S. patent for a method of making a “no-bake” granola or snack food product that reduces waste and boosts processing efficiency. The no-bake products resulting from the process – granola bars, clusters, cereal, instant hot cereal and snacks – have a “toasted appearance and flavor”, according to the patent document. The process involves mixing ingredients – grain, nuts, seeds, fruit, etc. – at high temperatures, adding a sweetener, then cooling to room temperature. The resulting product is not sticky and requires no further drying or processing.
"No bake granola product and methods of preparation", Free Patents Online, September 24, 2013, © FreePatentsOnline.com
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Grocery Stores Adopt Technology Features To Compete Better

September 8, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Grocery stores are integrating technology into their operations to improve their ability to compete. For example, Ralphs installed the QueVision technology to monitor foot traffic in almost all of its supermarkets to adjust staffing size at its checkout counters based on the number of shoppers. Technologies being adopted by grocery operators include digital signs that allow for easy updating of product prices and locations depending on the time of day, checkout counters that use fingerprint scanners or smartphones, and smart shopping carts that can follow customers. U.S. grocery stores are trailing their counterparts overseas, with UK-based Tesco, for example, having more than 5,000 technologists at its development center in Bangalore, India.
Andrea Chang and Tiffany Hsu, "Grocery stores adding tech features to stay competitive", Los Angeles Times, September 08, 2013, © Los Angeles Times
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Eyeka Announces Winners Of Laundry Innovation Challenge

September 5, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Creativity platform eYeka released the top proposals on how to improve laundry innovation ideas it received from participants in a recently concluded innovation competition. Buenos Aires-based designer Javier Páez’s idea for a preventive detergent, which would minimize washing, helped him won the grand prize. French textile designer Cynthia Dubus-Verrier proposed the use of detergent stickers designed for certain stains, while France-based designer Denis Verdier suggested turning washing into a game.
Ben Schiller, "5 Visions Of The Future Of Laundry", Fast Company Exist, September 05, 2013, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC.
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Los Alamos National Laboratory Honors Team For Creating Statistical Tool With Procter & Gamble

August 28, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The Los Alamos National Laboratory awarded its first Richard Feynman Prize for Innovation Achievement to the team that developed the Reliability Technology statistical method for Procter & Gamble. Developed by researchers Michael Hamada, Harold Martz, and their colleagues in partnership with the consumer goods company, Reliability Technology has enabled Procter & Gamble to streamline its manufacturing processes. The research team was honored during the laboratory’s 2013 outStanding innovation Awards reception.
Gary Gerew, "Los Alamos honors team for work with P&G", Albuquerque Business First (New Mexico), August 28, 2013, © American City Business Journals
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Innovation Drives Growth In Hair-Care Market, Analysts Say

August 27, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
After years of playing second fiddle to the skincare category, the hair-care segment is showing signs of impressive growth, driven by an increased focus on innovation. Although only a few smaller brands have adopted it, customization is believed by many industry analysts to be a major driving force of the hair-care market. In the upcoming HairCareIngredients 2013 online event organized by Cosmetics Design magazine, industry expert and consultant Imogen Matthews will do a presentation focusing on the customized hair-care segment. Hair-care companies are also innovating in terms of ingredients, including multi-function ingredients.
Simon Pitman, "Hair care gets a kick start from major focus on innovation", Cosmetics Design , August 27, 2013, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Unilever, University Of Liverpool Partner To Develop Renewable Chemicals For Manufacturing Applications

August 22, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever partnered with the University of Liverpool to launch a research project aimed at developing the next generation of renewable chemicals from biomass. Chemicals that would be developed would be used in the manufacture of the consumer goods giant's home and personal care product lines. With emphasis on developing chemicals from the surplus sugars, fats, oils, and carbohydrates produced as by-products and forestry wastes, the project will create a center of excellence in the identification of renewable ingredients, the partners said. To be located at the University of Liverpool, the project center will employ rapid high-throughput research methods.
"Scientists to develop renewable chemicals for products of the future", Unilever, August 22, 2013, © Unilever
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Aldi, Lidl Adopt Contactless Payment Systems

August 17, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Discount retailers Aldi and Lidl introduced their respective contactless payment systems. After completing a successful trial of the technology, Lidl rolled out Ingenico's iPP350 contactless payment system across its 580 stores. Aldi is running a trial at selected branches and is also considering the adoption of near field communication-driven technology. Several retailers in the UK have already implemented contactless payment systems in 2012, including Marks & Spencer and The Co-operative Group. Use of contactless payment systems in the UK has risen 22 percent in the first quarter of 2013, according to research by Visa.
Daniel Lanyon, "Aldi and Lidl introduce contactless payments", The Grocer, August 17, 2013, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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L'Oreal Works With YouTube Star To Launch New Brand

August 16, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
L'Oréal Luxe group and Michelle Phan launched the makeup line em michelle phan, which was developed by Phan with input from her online community. Michelle Phan has built an online community of followers with her story-driven makeup tutorials. She is now the #1 beauty guru on YouTube with nearly one billion views and 4.5 million subscribers. L'Oréal Luxe calls em michelle phan a startup-style brand that will be available at www.emcosmetics.com. The line took two years to develop and will launch with over 250 products including 36 shades of eyeshadow, blush and lipstick themed around life moments such as “Love Life,” “Day Life,” “Party Life” and “Night Life.”
PRNewswire, "em michelle phan, the new makeup brand co-created by beauty expert Michelle Phan and her community, launches", PRNewswire, August 16, 2013, © PRNewswire
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Beauty
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Weather Channel Helps Marketers See How Weather Affects Consumer Buying Behavior

August 14, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Cable news network Weather Channel Cos., which has renamed itself the Weather Co., began offering its weather-related data to advertisers that want to improve the chances for success of their campaigns. Raw weather data analyzed by Weather Co. scientists help marketers to fine-tune their pitches by incorporating information on weather conditions likely to prevail when consumers are likely to buy their products. Information offered by the company also helps companies understand how weather conditions affect consumers’ buying behavior and help them adjust their marketing accordingly. For example, the company has learned that sales of insect repellents increase in the spring in Dallas, Texas, when dew point is below average. In Boston, however, sales of the spray product rise when the dew point is above average.
KATHERINE ROSMAN, "Weather Channel Now Also Forecasts What You'll Buy", Wall Street Journal, August 14, 2013, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Entrepreneurs Hope To Profit From Innovative Alternative Protein Sources

August 13, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A growing number of food entrepreneurs are looking to eliminate the middleman of protein production – namely, animals such as beef cattle and chickens. Their focus, as described to a gathering of venture capitalists and others interested in alternative sources of protein, is production of high-protein foods directly from plants and insects. Key benefits would be a vast reduction in water usage and greenhouse gas emissions associated with raising beef cattle. Among the start-ups: Beyond Meat, which makes a meat substitute from soybeans, peas, and carrot fiber; Hampton Creek, maker of a pea-, sorghum-, and canola-based egg substitute; and Exo, whose protein bar mix combines dates, almond butter, and coconut with flour made from crickets that have been roasted and milled.
Wade Roush, "Proteins of Tomorrow? Soy, Peas, Crickets, and Mealworms", Xconomy, August 13, 2013, © Xconomy, Inc
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Food
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Hair Care Market Reaches $75 Billion Mark In 2012, Driven By Ingredient And Product Innovations

August 13, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Sales of hair care products reached $75 billion 2012, driven by ingredient and product innovations, according to market research firm Euromonitor International. Ingredient innovations include skin-care ingredients for treatment of the scalp and anti-aging properties, while products launched include hair serums and pre-treatment masks. These hair care innovations could help drive a reinvention of the segment, according to analysts. Euromonitor personal care analyst Nicole Tyrimou said these innovations helped the segment grow by $4 billion in 2012, closing the gap with the skin care market.
"Ingredient Innovations Fuel Hair Care", GCI Magazine, August 13, 2013, © Allured Business Media
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Innovation
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Personal Care
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Fried Noodle Buns Give Ramen Burger Its Unique Look And Flavor

August 8, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
There’s hardly been enough time to adjust to New York’s  “cronut” craze when along comes another culinary fad: a burger-noodle hybrid sandwich, also born in New York City. Chef Keizo Shimamoto invented the Ramen Burger and debuted it at a Brooklyn, N.Y., food fair recently. The burger comprises a slab of ground beef topped with scallions and arugula and sandwiched between two bun-shaped disks of fried noodles. According to a food blogger, the key ingredient is a soy-based shoyu sauce that “brings both sweetness and salt to the party”. Chef Shimamoto formerly owned a Tokyo-based noodle restaurant.
Margot Peppers, "That's one way to use your noodles! The burger topped with a RAMEN 'bun' that is proving a hit in New York City", Daily Mail Online, August 08, 2013, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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Walmart Adds Mobile Coupons To Scan & Go Self-Checkout Mobile App

August 2, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart upgraded its Scan & Go self-checkout mobile application by adding a feature that lets shoppers clip coupons by tapping their smartphones and claiming the savings automatically during checkout. Other features added to the mobile app include the ability to scan a QR code on a printed receipt to download an electronic version into the smartphone and the option to having phone numbers registered during checkout to start receiving automatic electronic receipts for future in-store purchases. Launched in the latter part of 2012, Scan & Go is expected to be expanded to more than 200 Walmart stores. Mobile coupons are available at stores that already offer Scan & Go.
Chantal Tode , "Walmart boosts Scan & Go self-checkout with mobile coupons", Mobile Commerce Daily, August 02, 2013, © Napean LLC
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Multinational Companies Should Take Advantage Of A Hidden Asset: Multicultural Managers

August 1, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Multicultural managers – often unseen and unrecognized in multinational companies – have a lot to contribute to the success of global innovation projects, according to a case study published in the Harvard Business Review. L’Oreal’s multicultural minds were able to be creative, to share complex knowledge across locations, contexts and cultures and to manage global innovation and product development teams effectively, according to the author. Multicultural managers in integrative roles made a positive difference in the innovative process at the brand. According to a L’Oreal executive, “Multiculturals have a kind of gymnastic intellectual training to think as if they were French, American, or Chinese and all together inside them.”
Yves Doz , "The Rise Of Multicultural Managers", Forbes.com, August 01, 2013, © Forbes.com LLC
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Nivea Announces New Anti-Aging Product Line Based On New Technology

July 29, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Nivea announced the Nivea Cellular Anti-Age line of anti-aging products for women. Assisted by more than 15,000 women, Nivea researchers developed the anti-aging formula the company claims can effectively work against the signs of aging. Nivea skin expert Sven Fey said more than 8,500 women were involved in making sure that the finished product works according to what women expect from a high-quality anti-aging face care product. Nivea says the Nivea Cellular Anti-Age product contains active anti-aging ingredients: Magnolia extract, hyaluronic acid, and creatine. Also, the Nivea Cellular Anti-Age Day cream contains SPF 15 and a UVA filter system.
"A "Masterpiece" for Cell Rejuvenation", Beiersdorf, July 29, 2013, © Beiersdorf AG
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Peapod Expands Its Virtual Stores On The East Coast, In Chicago

July 8, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Internet grocer Peapod said it is expanding its virtual grocery store technology, featuring physical or digital billboards of grocery aisles, to community locations including ballparks, concert sites, recreation centers and coffee shops around the East Coast and Chicago. In 2012, Peapod launched 100 virtual grocery stores at commuter rail stations. A high tech Peapod truck is also traveling in the region. The company said the ad campaign is designed to get smartphone users to scan a QR (quick response) code and download a free PeapodMobile app. Consumers can then shop for groceries on the go at any time.
"Peapod virtual grocery stores pop up in unexpected places", News release, Ahold, July 08, 2013, © Ahold
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HBA Expo: Is Bonicel, The World’s First Probiotic-Derived Personal Care Ingredient, About To Get Traction?

June 29, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Ganeden continues to promote its Bonicel ingredient as “the first science-backed, probiotic-derived personal care ingredient that has been shown to significantly improve the appearance of seven common signs of aging” but thus far it’s not included in any personal care products in-market. This looks set to change.
 
In a conversation with Business360, Ganeden indicated that two personal care products that contain Bonicel should launch in the next 30-days, with others following.
 
Clinical claims                                           
 
Bonicel was first announced some 15 months ago in Ganeden’s March 1, 2012 press release (‘Breakthrough Research Paves Way For New Probiotic-Based Topical, Anti-Aging Cosmetic Ingredient’) which claimed that “Bonicel, improves skin hydration, elasticity, under eye puffiness and reduces fine lines and wrinkles in humans.”
 
Bonicel is made in part from the extra-cellular material produced during the fermentation of GanedenBC30 (Bacillus coagulans GBI-30. 6086), a patent-protected probiotic ingredient that is used in over 75 food, beverage and animal health products. While some press about Bonicel mentions it is a probiotic, it is in fact a probiotic-derived ingredient, derived from GanedenBC30's fermentation broth and not itself a probiotic.
 
On February 5, 2013 (New Research Confirms Bonicel's Multiple Anti-Aging Benefits) Ganeden released another press release that touted the results of a third-party study that found that Bonicel “improved skin hydration, elasticity, under eye puffiness and reduced fine lines and wrinkles in humans and even reduced redness.”
 
At the June 18-20 HBA Global Expo ‘Where Beauty Meets Business’ in New York Ganeden  promoted Bonicel and Business360 inquired about the status of personal care products containing the ingredient. Business360 also called both Ganeden and Glanbia (the North American distributors) to find out the status of products planning to use Bonicel.
 
Products expected in 30-days   
 
Natalie Martinez, Business & Product Development Manager at Ganeden indicated that a number of suppliers are working to incorporate Bonicel in various applications. She was unable to disclose the manufacturer’s and applications but did say that the first products incorporating Bonicel should be in market in about 30 days.
 
Primary applications look to be as an anti-aging agent for skin and face care but the company is working with suppliers on a range of other applications including hand health, (leveraging anti-aging properties for moisturizers and topical cleansers), oral health (leveraging the ingredients anti-inflammatory properties) as well as after-sun and scalp health.
 
Ganeden claims that four clinical trials have been run on Bonicel. None of these are publicly available but Ms. Martinez says the company is in the process of preparing one for publication. Sales literature made available at trade shows and accessible at www.bonicelforbeauty.com provides summary results of a clinical study that looked at bar soap that had Bonicel at a 5% inclusion rate.
 
The material states that the study found a 35% reduction in facial redness in 14-days but such an improvement is hard to see from the before and after photos the company provides, where any changes looks frankly imperceptible (see right).
 
First mover advantage
 
At this point Ganeden believes it has a unique proposition with a probiotic-derived ingredient that is supported by clinical studies and does not yet have strong competition. Ganeden has been working with both large and small manufacturers and has not signed exclusives.
 
Recent trademarks filings
 
On March 1, 2012 Ganeden filed to use the Bonicel name on a wide range of personal care categories and on June 10, 2013, it filed to trademark the Bonicel logo design.
"Ganeden At HBA Expo, June 2013", June 29, 2013, © Ganeden Biotech
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EnWave, Hormel Foods Sign Licensing Deal For Dehydrating Technology

June 28, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
EnWave Corp. said it has licensed its Radiant Energy Vacuum dehydrating technology to Hormel Foods Corp. As part of the licensing agreement, EnWave and Hormel Foods have agreed to long-term royalty rates, expanded global market rights, and the use of EnWave’s nutraDRIED trademark on packaging of Hormel Foods products. EnWave is also supporting Hormel Foods’ testing of the technology by leasing the food company a large pilot-scale nutraREV manufacturing unit that will be operational in summer 2013.
"EnWave Signs Commercial License with Hormel Foods Corporation", EnWave , June 28, 2013, © EnWave Corporation
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DuPont Opens Innovation Center In Johnston, Iowa

June 25, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
DuPont opened its Johnston Innovation Center in Johnston, Iowa, its second innovation center in the United States and 12th around the world. Focusing on the company's science and technology capabilities in the food, agriculture, and energy segments, the facility also highlights the latest in DuPont's technology, applications, and products developed to address food security, energy, protection and other urgent challenges facing today's world. Its innovation centers empower DuPont to make use of its global science capabilities to create local solutions aimed at addressing the market's most important concerns and needs, according to company chairman and CEO Ellen Kullman.
"Inclusive Innovation in Action: New DuPont Innovation Center Launched in Iowa", DuPont, June 25, 2013, © DuPont Pioneer
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Food
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Dazzlepro Launches Platinum Edition Toothbrush From Advanced Sonic Line

June 25, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Dazzlepro launched the GT Model, the latest addition to the Dazzlepro Advanced Sonic Toothbrush line. Powerful and efficient, the Platinum Edition toothbrush comes with professional strength features and elegant styling, the company says. Capable of 40,000 brushstrokes per minute, the GT Model toothbrush comes with a time-saving, self-cleaning system that uses UV technology to sanitize the brush heads.
"Dazzlepro Launches the Advanced GT Sonic Toothbrush", PR Newswire, June 25, 2013, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Twitter Readies Location-Based Marketing Platform For Retailers

June 21, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Twitter plans to launch a location-based and geo-defined mobile marketing platform designed to let retailers send promoted tweets to consumers within the proximity of their stores. Aimed at enabling ads to be targeted to consumers near particular latitudes and longitudes, the service can help marketers to drive their in-store traffic by announcing deals or just by informing people of their presence nearby. Twitter's planned geo-defined service, however, does not offer location options as specific as the one Facebook has offered since 2011.
Cotton Delo , "Twitter is Developing Geo-Targeted Ads for Retailers", Advertising Age, June 21, 2013, © Crain Communications
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Appconomy Launches Carrefour Mobile Shopping App In China

June 20, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Appconomy launched the Carrefour Smart Shopper mobile application in China. Appconomy expects the app, which combines an indoor location-sensing technology, a user-friendly social-shopping list, and an advertising system that lets retailers engage with customers, to change how consumers in China do their shopping and how retailers and brands interact with their customers. Currently used at selected Carrefour stores in Shanghai, the app's core functions are social shopping list, navigation guide, and promotional information. It will be rolled out across all of Carrefour's stores in the greater Shanghai area.
"Appconomy Launches Carrefour Smart Shopper App in China in a Major Milestone for the Retail Industry", PRWEB , June 20, 2013, © Vocus PRW Holdings, LLC
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Kroger Uses Technology To Speed Up Shoppers' Checkout Time

June 20, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Grocery company Kroger said using Que Vision checkout technology has enabled it to cut shoppers' wait time to start checkout down to an average of 26 seconds from 4 minutes a few years ago. Expected to be installed in the company's 2,424 supermarkets across the country, the overhead infrared sensor technology is credited by Kroger as one of the reasons for the 9.6 percent increase in earnings for the quarter ending May 25, 2013. Displayed on light boards located at the store's front, information including number of checkout lanes currently in service and the number needed are updated in real time. Besides enhancing customer convenience, the technology enables Kroger and other traditional grocers to compete better with discounters, such as Wal-Mart and Target.
Alexander Coolidge, "New technology helps Kroger speed up checkout times", USA Today, June 20, 2013, © Gannett
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Walmart Streamlines Its Logistics System To Efficiently Handle Online Sales

June 18, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart is finally adapting its order fulfillment system to the reality of Internet shopping. It’s a high-stakes game: online sales rose 16 percent in the U.S. in 2012 to $224.3 billion and now account for about five percent of overall consumer-goods sales. That number will reach 10 percent by 2017. In an attempt to catch up to Amazon.com, which long ago created a super-efficient Internet-based sales and delivery model, Walmart is implementing a huge logistics system that includes new warehouses for Web orders – a la Amazon.com – but also uses staff at its more than 4,000 stores to pack and mail Web-bought items to customers – a faster and cheaper way to fulfill online orders, according to the company.
Shelly Banjo, "Wal-Mart's E-Stumble", Wall Street Journal, June 18, 2013, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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L'Oréal Announces Product The Company Claims Actually Regrows Hair

June 12, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
L'Oréal announced the Densifique, a breakthrough product the cosmetics company claims actually grows back hair. Developed in the company's facilities in Paris, Densifique works by reviving dormant hair cells, allowing them to recover and grow back, L'Oréal scientists say. Used daily by applying the product on the head and massaged into the scalp, Densifique will grow back 1,500 hairs within 90 days and continue working to revive more of the 100,000 to 150,000 hair follicles an average human head has, according to the company.
Marcus Hondro , "L’Oreal claims breakthrough product coming can regrow hair", Digital Journal, June 12, 2013, © digitaljournal.com
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Johnson & Johnson Opens Innovation Center In California

June 5, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Johnson & Johnson Innovation announced the opening of the Johnson & Johnson California Innovation Center in Menlo Park, California. One of the four regional hubs being established by the consumer goods company, the innovation center is designed to help the company advance healthcare by promoting cooperative efforts in science and technology between regional innovators and the Johnson & Johnson group of companies. Johnson & Johnson also announced that Second Genome has signed a research collaboration deal with Janssen Biotech, Inc. focusing on research into microbiome mechanisms and their potential role in ulcerative colitis.
"Johnson & Johnson Innovation Announces Opening of the California Innovation Center", Johnson & Johnson, June 05, 2013, © Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc.
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Companies Overcome Technical Challenges To Develop Avocado Powder

June 5, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Two New Zealand firms have partnered to develop an avocado powder for companies that make food products (guacamole), cosmetics (facial masks) and nutraceutical supplements and capsules. The powder produced by spray dryer FoodWaikato and Avocado Oil New Zealand will be sold under the brand name Avopure in Australia, the U.S., Japan and China. The companies had to overcome some tricky technical challenges to make the powder: avocadoes are fibrous, highly viscous, and oxidize rapidly when exposed to air.
Sophie Langley, "“Pure” avocado powder on the way", Australia Food News, June 05, 2013, © Australia Food News
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Entrepreneurs Apply 3D Printing Technology To The Creation Of Cake Toppers

June 4, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
An enterprising young British couple who lacked an oven for baking has nevertheless launched a baking business using a printer that creates edible 3D sugar statues that can be eaten on their own or used as cake and pastry decorations. The couple, former architectural students, applied a 3D printing technology used by architects to create physical models of buildings prior to construction. Their first creation was a tiny cupcake topper that spelled a friend's name. The couple, which has partnered with celebrity chef Duff Goldman to create a large wedding cake embellished with their confections, firmly believes that the technology has opened up “a whole new set of possibilities” for the baking industry.
Sadie Whitelocks, "Is this the future of baking? The 3D printer that creates incredible confectionery from scratch", Daily Mail Online, June 04, 2013, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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Wendy’s Polishes Its Image – And Raises Prices – Inexpensively By Using Unusual Breads

May 31, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
An analyst from Janney Montgomery Scott says Wendy’s plan to roll out a pretzel cheesburger nationally this summer is part of a broader strategy to convince consumers that its menu is becoming higher quality – e.g., more premium breads – without increasing its own costs. The reasoning is that a unique bun gives a burger the appearance of better quality, and is therefore worth a higher price. Wendy’s goal is to polish its image in an effort to compete with the more upscale Chipotles and Paneras of the world. Janney analyst Mark Kalinowski upped his forecast for sales at Wendy's restaurants open at least a year to five percent – up from two percent – in the third quarter when the Pretzel Bacon Cheese-burger is expected to be released.
Candice Choi, "Wendy's pretzel burger isn't just about taste", Yahoo! News, May 31, 2013, via Associated Press , © The Associated Press
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P&G Chief Shares Insights On Innovation

May 22, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Speaking to a group of R&D executives at an Industrial Research Institute meeting recently, Procter & Gamble CEO Bob McDonald said that 175 years of innovation at the company have taught some key lessons. Innovation, he said, has to be inspired by “fundamental human truths” and “core human needs” in addition to technology and science. Innovation has to be open, inside and outside the company; and balanced between “sustaining, transformational and disruptive”. According to McDonald, innovation differentiates P&G brands from the competition and prevents “commoditization”.
"McDonald Shares Innovation Lessons", Procter & Gamble, May 22, 2013, © Procter & Gamble
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Retail Stores Adopt High-Tech Means To Compete With Online Rivals

May 21, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Brick-and-mortar retail stores are using technology to regain market share lost to online retailers. With 58 percent of the U.S. population forecast to be online shoppers by 2016, according to a 2012 report from Forrester, retailers are adopting consumer-oriented technologies, such as the Me-Ality Size-Matching Station which analyzes the shopper's body and determines the brand, size, and style that will fit best. Beauty retailer Sephora partnered with Pantone LLC to develop Color IQ, a technology designed to help women choose make-up products that match their skin tone. Seattle-based men's clothing store Hointer combines the benefits of a physical store with the convenience and fast service of an online store to better serve shoppers.
Molly Klinefelter, "High-Tech Shopping: Meet the Future of Retail", LAPTOP , May 21, 2013, © TechMediaNetwork.com
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Further Adventures In 3-D Food Printing: Pizza In A Galaxy Far, Far Away

May 21, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
It was recently reported that a techno-savvy British couple had used 3-D printing technology to create edible sugar statues for use as cake and pastry decorations. Now NASA has funded development of a 3-D printer that would print an oven fresh pizza, even in zero-gravity outer space. Starting with powders, the printer prints a layer of dough (starches) that begins baking immediately, thanks to a hot plate. Inkjets then spray on a tomato base (in powdered form), then oils, water, and protein from dairy, meat or vegetables. The pizza, and possibly other foods, would need to retain nutritional content on long space flights. It should also taste good, NASA says, or astronauts won't eat enough to sustain themselves.
Christopher Mims, "The audacious plan to end hunger with 3-D printed food", Quartz, May 21, 2013, © Quartz
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Researchers Say Photocatalysis Is Most Effective Technology For Keeping Fruits, Veggies Fresh

May 15, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
French researchers have determined that a technology known as photocatalysis has the greatest potential for removing spoilage-inducing ethylene gas – produced by fruits, vegetables and flowers – from shipping and storage containers. The gas normally speeds the ripening process, but also causes unwanted ripening, spoilage and financial losses. The researchers reviewed 300 published studies and compared all existing ethylene control/removal methods and technologies. The sustainable technology photocatalysis combines a catalyst and light to transform ethylene gas into carbon dioxide and water.
Nicolas Keller t al., "Ethylene Removal and Fresh Product Storage: A Challenge at the Frontiers of Chemistry. Toward an Approach by Photocatalytic Oxidation", Chemical Reviews, May 15, 2013, © American Chemical Society
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L'Oréal Announces Breakthrough In Treatment Of Hair Loss

May 4, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
L'Oréal claimed its scientists have invented a cosmetics product that can revive dormant hair cells and make them grow back. Demand for the product called the Kérastase Densifique has seen beauty salons taking thousands of pre-orders although the recommended three-month treatment costs almost £300. L'Oréal scientists claim that in 90 days, the product can help grow back more than 1,500 new hairs. Head of scientific affairs Patricia Pineau said the cosmetic product "respects the natural way hair regenerates".
Andrew Hough, "Breakthrough hair loss product works on stem cells", Telegraph, May 04, 2013, © Telegraph Media Group Limited
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GSK Marks Oral Health Month In Canada By Launching Toothpaste That Helps Repair Sensitive Teeth

April 16, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare launched the Sensodyne Repair & Protect toothpaste for sensitive teeth in time for the 2013 Oral Health Month in Canada. Sensodyne Repair & Protect the company claims contains clinically proven NovaMin Technology, a formula that helps repair sensitive areas using natural building blocks of teeth. NovaMin particles plug the tiny holes that are exposed in the areas of sensitive teeth, forming a protective layer when it comes into contact with saliva. The process helps repair sensitive teeth, according to the company.
"Oral Health Month Kicks Off Launch Of New Toothpaste That Actually Helps Repair Sensitive Teeth", CNW, April 16, 2013, © CNW Group Ltd
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Procter & Gamble Partners With NASA, International Space Station To Study Space Properties Of Products

March 26, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble partnered with NASA and the International Space Station to study the properties of some of the company's products in space. Older than three years, the partnership aims to find ways to improve products' shelf life and quality and reduce product development time. P&G principal scientist Matt Lynch said his work with NASA provides an opportunity to learn about the physics behind what makes the products stable and improve consumer experience.
"Taking Innovation Out of This World", Procter & Gamble, March 26, 2013, © Procter & Gamble
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Wal-Mart Brings Self-Checkout Program To More U.S. Cities For Testing

March 20, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. expanded the test implementation of its Scan & Go self-checkout program to include more than 200 stores in several cities in the United States. First tested in about 70 stores in Atlanta, Georgia, and Bentonville, Arkansas, the self-checkout program allows shoppers to scan items using their smartphones then pay at self-checkout counters. More than 50 percent of the retailer's customers own a smartphone, and 40 percent of traffic coming to the company's online store comes from shoppers' mobile devices, according to Wal-Mart's senior vice president of mobile and digital initiatives Gibu Thomas.
Anne D’Innocenzio, "Wal-Mart expands test of mobile checkout program", The Associated Press/Yahoo!, March 20, 2013, © The Associated Press/Yahoo! Inc.
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Olay Launches Color And Correct Cream Line

March 18, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Olay launched the Olay Total Effects Tone Correcting CC Cream color and correct cream. Emerging first as a new beauty product category in Asia, CC creams are designed for women who like BB creams for their ability to offer fast and flawless finish but who want skincare products that provided long-term benefits. Available in three shades, Olay Total Effects Tone Correcting CC Cream takes care of seven signs of aging and provides prompt color correction, according to Olay. Its key ingredients are Niacinamide, which hydrates and softens the skin, and N-acetyl glucosamine, which improves the skin's moisture barrier.
Kim West , "CC Cream: The Next Generation of Skincare", Beauty World News, March 18, 2013, © Beauty World News
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Procter & Gamble Australia Managing Director Says Difficult To Foster Innovation In The Country

March 7, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble Australia managing director Maile Carnegie said promoting innovation in Australia is more difficult than it should be, due to the high cost of doing business, complicated regulations, and lack of focus and skills in some sections of the economy. For example, Oral B encountered significant concerns and obstacles when it launched a new toothpaste the company claims will help improve health care in Australia, according to Carnegie. Carnegie said she first worked at a local retailer of fruits and vegetables, and she also worked part time selling safety signs to construction companies. Roger Martin, dean at the Rotman School of Management, is the business leader that she admires the most, Carnegie said.
Marianna Papadakis , "CEO Q&A: Maile Carnegie, Procter & Gamble", BRW (Australia), March 07, 2013, © BRW/Digital Media
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Kraft Revamps Innovation Process, Bets Its Future On New Product Development

February 19, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Five years ago, Kraft Foods Group was failing at new product development: 17 of the 19 products tested that year bombed. And 2009 wasn’t much different. Part of the problem was that the company lacked an ethos of innovation: ideas were small, the process lacked rigor and focus, there was little investment supporting product launches, and working in innovation was considered a dead-end job. But that situation is turning around. Kraft has outlined changes it is implementing to develop and support new products. It has created an “innovation playbook” that calls for increased investment in “fewer, bigger ideas” that receive a lot of company attention, according to Barry Calpino, who heads up the revamped  innovation process.
Emily Bryson York, "Kraft acknowledges faults, unveils new path", Chicago Tribune, February 19, 2013, © Chicago Tribune Company, LLC
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Nestlé Gives U.K. Shoppers Detailed Product Data Through Smartphone-Readable QR Codes

February 1, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé has launched an initiative that allows consumers in the U.K. and Ireland to use smartphones to scan quick-response (QR) codes on multi-packs of two-finger Kit Kat chocolate bars to obtain detailed nutritional, environmental and other information. Scanning the QRs takes consumers to Web sites that provide the additional data. The company plans to roll out the QR codes across its product line in both emerging and developed markets. The codes will appear within the Nestlé “nutritional compass”, a guide to help consumers choose between products. The compass is already included on 97 percent of the company's products worldwide.
"Nestlé empowers consumers with new digital labeling scheme", Nestle, February 01, 2013, © Nestle
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University Of Virginia Strengthens Programs Supporting Innovation

January 24, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Noting that innovation is the only way to build a strong economic future, the University of Virginia has introduced new programs to enhance the innovative activities of its researchers and entrepreneurs. The initiative, known as UVA Innovation, will provide guidance and services supporting strategic partnerships, entrepreneurial networks and technology commercialization. The university’s patent foundation will become a licensing and ventures group to emphasize commercialization of university technologies. And the university will adopt a new revenue distribution formula that will benefit inventors, departments and scholarship programs.
Thomas C. Skalak, ""UVa Innovation" to Build on University's Leading Innovation Programs", News release, University of Virginia, January 24, 2013, © University of Virginia
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Unilever Adopts Frugal Innovation, Aims To Make More With Less

January 10, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever, along with Renault-Nissan and Siemens, is a pioneer in using frugal innovation as a business strategy. Defined as "the ability to generate considerably more business and social value while significantly reducing the use of scarce resources," frugal innovation helps enterprises perceive scarcity in resources as a growth opportunity. Unilever CEO Paul Polman has adopted the theory, integrating frugal innovation into his company's business operations. For example, Unilever gets almost 25 percent of its agricultural inputs from sustainable sources and uses lower-emission trucks in distributing its products.
Navi Radjou and Jaideep Prabhu , "Frugal Innovation: A New Business Paradigm", INSEAD, January 10, 2013, © INSEAD Knowledge
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