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Seeking To Revive Growth, Procter & Gamble Aims To Recover Strength In Innovation

January 3, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
To revive its business growth, Procter & Gamble plans to expand its innovation and speed up product development. As part of these efforts, P&G created the LEAP team of research and development managers, technology experts, marketing professionals, industrial designers, and consumerists. P&G said it expects new products to deliver $3 billion to the company's annual sales growth. About 40 percent of P&G's new products are forecast to create new markets, while 60 percent will meet the requirements of consumers in existing markets, according to Jorge Mesquita, group president of the company's new business creation and innovation. A look at P&G's history reveals that innovation has played a leading role in the company's growth and expansion into a global consumer goods giant.
Tom Branna, "Follow the Leader (PG)", Happi, January 03, 2013, © Rodman Publishing / HAPPI
Domains
Innovation
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Beauty
Household Care
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Worldwide
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United States of America

Lifebuoy Handwash Turns Green To Clean Hands

January 1, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Hindustan Unilever launched the Lifebuoy Colour Changing Handwash brand of liquid handwash in India. Featuring a formulation the company claims removes 99.9 percent of germs within 10 seconds, the Lifebuoy handwash changes its color to green, telling consumers that they can now rinse their hands. HUL claims the handwash will help teach consumers how to properly wash their hands.
"Lifebuoy launches colour changing handwash", Hindustan Unilever, January 01, 2013, © Unilever
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Innovation
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Personal Care
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Worldwide
Asia-Pacific
India

Emmi-dent Ultrasound Toothbrush Comes To UK

December 9, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Emmi launched the Emmi-dent ultrasound toothbrush in the United Kingdom. Its manufacturer claims the toothbrush makes 86 million sound waves per minute, creating millions of tiny bubbles to form in the special toothpaste that owners have to use with it. While the toothbrush promises to change how consumers brush their teeth, some experts, including professor Damien Walmsley of the British Dental Association, think the toothbrush needs to be evaluated to prove its effectiveness.
Ailsa Leslie, "World's first no-brushing toothbrush claims to polish teeth with ultrasonic waves ONLY", Daily Mail, December 09, 2012, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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Innovation
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Amazon Entices Brands With Online Space For Selling Their Wares

November 21, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Amazon launched the Amazon Pages service, which allows companies to create their own pages on Amazon.com as customized online destinations. Amazon.com-branded URLs, dynamic Web designs, and social media links are some of the features of the service, which may help encourage brands and smaller companies to use the service instead of operating their own Web sites. Also, the company launched the Amazon Posts service, which lets companies promote themselves and their products across Amazon and Facebook, and Amazon Analytics, which helps measure the online platform’s performance.
Ingrid Lunden, "Amazon Offers ‘Amazon Pages’ For Brands To Customize With Their Own URLs, And ‘Amazon Posts’ For Social Media Marketing", Tech Crunch, November 21, 2012, © AOL Inc.
Domains
Innovation
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Retail
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Procter & Gamble Commits To Increase Innovation Threefold

November 20, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble plans to expand its product development in the next five years, according to P&G new business creation group president Jorge Mesquita who spoke at the company’s 2012 meeting for analysts. P&G will launch three times as many “change innovations,” or products that “reset the competitive bar in the category,” Mesquita said. At present, P&G invests $2 billion each year on research and development, focusing on innovations in products and brands that will “obsolete existing segments” and those that will benefit underserved consumer groups.
Rosie Baker, "P&G to triple rate of innovation", Marketing Week, November 20, 2012, © Centaur Media plc
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New British Venture Offers Chilled Cake Mixes With Top Quality Ingredients

November 9, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A British baking entrepreneur has taken a relatively old concept – readymade cake mixes – and added a new twist. Known in the U.K. as the “Queen of Puddings,” Helen Colley’s new venture puts “real kitchen cupboard ingredients” – free-range eggs, patisserie flour and real butter – into a chilled package that also includes a baking pan and icing. Home bakers simply mix everything and pop into the oven. The Half-Baked Cake Company's first products include Scrumptious Chocolate and Lemon and Lime Drizzle, priced at £5 ($7.95), and available in the chilled food aisles at Booths and Tesco stores.
"Our Helen’s latest half-baked idea!", Clitheroe Advertiser and Times, November 09, 2012, © Johnston Publishing Ltd.
Domains
Innovation
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Food
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Online Grocery Sales Growing, But Will Not Supplant Trips To The Grocery Store

November 1, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Though online grocery shopping is growing at an annual rate of 25 percent, it is not likely it will replace shopping at a “bricks-and-mortar” grocery store any time soon, market researcher Nielsen reports. Digital shopping accounted for only two percent of U.S. consumer packaged goods sales in 2011. Certain food categories – carbonated beverages, dairy, liquor, produce and frozen food – are not suited to online shopping because of concerns about refrigeration, perishability, and weight, all of which make shipping prohibitively expensive. Other barriers to online grocery shopping include “urgency,” “immediate consumption” and the need for “inspection”.
Kate Carey, "Nielsen says online food sales unlikely to surpass “bricks and mortar” food shopping", News report, AFN, November 01, 2012, © Australian Food News
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Innovation
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Food
Retail
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Australia

New Discoveries Lead To Better Treatments For Dandruff

October 26, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Recent research findings have enabled scientists to develop new, more effective treatments for dandruff, which affects more than 40 percent of the adult population. In 2007, researchers identified the specific yeast that causes dandruff, and since then, several research papers have led to new products and treatments for dandruff. These include a paper by Holm focusing on the effects of antimicrobial peptides and cell-penetrating peptides on Malasezzia sympodialis, the usual yeast found in individuals with atopic eczema. A research conducted by researchers from Procter & Gamble focused on how zinc pyrithione or ZPT works against Malassezia globosa and restricta by reducing the "expression of adhesion molecule ICAM-1," controlling the formation of visible dandruff clusters.
Steve Herman, "Dandruff in the 21st Century", GCI Magazine, October 26, 2012, © Allured Business Media
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Innovation
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Personal Care
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United States of America

Tate & Lyle Develops Salt Reduction Ingredient That Works Well In Baked Goods

October 23, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
British food ingredients manufacturer Tate & Lyle has introduced a salt reduction ingredient that ”tastes, labels and functions like salt because it is salt.” Soda-Lo Salt Microspheres are made using a technology that transforms salt crystals into free-flowing crystalline microspheres that are smaller and less dense than salt. They deliver a salty flavor using less salt, and have none of the bitter aftertaste or off-flavors associated with some salt compounds and substitutes, according to the company. Soda-Lo Salt Microspheres work well in many kinds of foods, including baked goods, breading and coatings, and salty snacks.
"Tate & Lyle Launches Soda-Lo Salt Microspheres Globally", Press release, Tate & Lyle, October 23, 2012, © Tate & Lyle
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Innovation
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Food
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Haircare Company Living Proof Signs Jennifer Aniston As Investor And Endorser

October 10, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Living Proof recruited celebrity Jennifer Aniston as an investor and spokesperson as part of the company's efforts to make it big in the hair-care industry. Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientist Robert Langer helped establish the company and is also one of its investors and is the company's science consultant. Living Proof scientists have discovered the OFPMA molecule, which is an effective barrier to moisture, the main cause of frizzy hair, and the PBAE molecule, which has properties that give hair more body. For her part, Aniston lends her star power to the company.
ELIZABETH HOLMES and RON WINSLOW, "To Sell More Shampoo, Mix Science And Celebrity", ELIZABETH HOLMES and RON WINSLOW, October 10, 2012, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc
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Innovation
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Unilever Calls For Innovation Support For Its Sustainable Growth Initiative

October 10, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever's research and development department announced three research projects for which the company is seeking help from the world's R&D and innovation community. Call for help is part of Unilever's Open Innovation online portal project, which encourages innovators to contribute to the fast moving consumer goods giant's sustainability efforts. To date, the portal has received more than 1,000 ideas, including technical solutions and new product ideas. Unilever hopes that its new call for innovation will just be as successful.
"Collaborate to Innovate: Unilever seeks help with new technical challenges to support sustainable growth", Unilever, October 10, 2012, © Unilever
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Innovation
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Beam's Bluetooth Toothbrush Can Tell If You're Brushing Your Teeth Long Enough

October 8, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Beam announced the Beam Toothbrush, a Bluetooth-enabled toothbrush that keeps track of how long its user brushes his or her teeth. According to Beam CEO Alex Frommeyer, the Beam Toothbrush is "the first app-connected toothbrush." Beam said that the toothbrush comes with a sensor that "reacts to the body's bioelectricity when it's placed in the mouth." This signals the toothbrush to keep track of brushing behavior. The toothbrush, however, cannot determine the quality of the brushing.
Ariel Schwartz, "The Beam Toothbrush Knows If You’re Not Brushing Enough", Fast Company, October 08, 2012, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC.
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Oils Of Herbs/Spices May Provide Eco-Friendly Answer To Potato Spoilage Problems

October 5, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A Spanish researcher looking to solve the problem of spoilage (i.e., sprouting or rotting) of potatoes during storage has found that treating tubers with oil of coriander for industrial potatoes, and with oil of mint for both industrial and table-stock crops, retards germination. Currently, the chemical Clorprofam (CIPC) is used to suppress sprouting of potatoes. But environmental and safety concerns have fueled the search for alternatives that preserve the quality of the crop. The researcher also found that the oil of eucalyptus prevented germination (sprouting) of table-stock potatoes and “could be another alternative for reducing post-harvest losses.”
Victoria Alfonso Seminario, "The use of essential oils as antigerminants for the storage of potatoes could be a good solution as an alternative to chemical treatment", News release, Universidad Pública de Navarra, October 05, 2012, © Universidad Pública de Navarra (UPNA)
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Food
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Spain

Reckitt Benckiser Adopts OmPrompt's Technology To Speed Up Order Processing

September 27, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Reckitt Benckiser implemented OmPrompt's Order Automation service for processing of customer orders sent in via various methods, including fax, email, and electronic data interchange. The technology eliminates Reckitt Benckiser's need to manually rekey thousands of customer orders and helps enhance the speed and accuracy of order capture, OmPrompt claims.
"Reckitt Benckiser Stops Processing Orders - to Improve Customer Service", PR Newswire , September 27, 2012, © PR Newswire
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Coming Innovation Wave To Be Led By Corporate Trailblazers

August 30, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Corporations will play a leading role in the next wave of innovation. Unilever’s development and promotion of its Pureit water-purification system for the emerging markets is an example of this coming trend. Corporations seeking to create their own “21st-century corporate garages” should consider the following issues — employees who will be part of the garage; scope of operation; linking the incubator operations with the rest of the company; creating an environment that promotes innovation; determining the purpose of innovation.
Scott Anthony, "How To Prepare For The 4th Era of Innovation", fastcodesign.com, August 30, 2012, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC.
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IPhone Attachment That Probes For Nitrate Residues Could Skewer Phony Organic Claims

August 23, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Lapka Electronics LCC has developed a free downloadable app and personal environment monitor attachment (with probe) for the iPhone. The device measures nitrate concentration in food, a sure sign that food was not produced organically. Nitrates are used in non-organic fertilizers, so any residue left behind is evidence that a claim of organic is false. The Lapka device, expected on the market later in 2012, will have attachments that detect radiation, electromagnetism, and humidity as well. Food Product Design envisions people using the $220 device in grocery stores to probe fruits and vegetables, maybe even packaged foods, “which I’m sure will rile many a store manager”.
" Test Pesticides With Your iPhone", Blog, Food Product Design, August 23, 2012, © Virgo Publishing, LLC
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Innovation
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Food
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Dry Conditioners Offer Convenient Way To Care For Hair

August 16, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Several haircare brands, including Pantene and Schwarzkopf, have launched dry conditioner products. Dry hair conditioners include oils and nutrients, which are turned into a “powder-like aerosol.” Designed to remedy dry and damaged hair as a conventional leave-in conditioner, dry conditioners work best when paired with dry shampoo. Dry conditioners enhance and texturize hair, according to celebrity stylist Danilo, who said they are a “great way to get fresh hair to achieve an undone, tousled finish and a great way to give lackluster hair a pump up without a full shampoo, condition, and blowout.”
"First there was dry shampoo, now meet dry conditioner - the new product set to save damaged hair... and your morning routine", Daily Mail, August 16, 2012, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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Innovation
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Hindustan Unilever Supports Parent Company's Sustainability Plan By Pushing Innovation

July 7, 2012: 07:50 PM EST
Hindustan Unilever Ltd. expanded its focus on innovation and ground-breaking products in support of parent company Unilever’s Global Sustainable Living initiative. Launched in November 2010, the sustainability plan aims to help more than a billion people to improve their health and conditions, reduce by half the company’s environmental impact, and acquire 100 percent of its agricultural raw materials from sustainable sources. For example, HUL is test-marketing Magic, a brand of liquid after-wash laundry product the company claims can reduce water usage by two-thirds. 
Ramnath Subbu, "HUL places thrust on innovation", The Hindu, July 07, 2012, © The Hindu
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Innovation
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Unilever Signs Up For Microsoft's NUads Interactive TV Advertising Platform

June 14, 2012: 05:22 AM EST
Microsoft Corp. launched the NUads interactive TV advertising format on Xbox LIVE, with Toyota, Unilever, and Samsung Mobile USA as the first brands to develop advertising campaigns based on the technology. NUads advertisements turn conventional TV advertisements into interactive experiences for Xbox LIVE viewers using Kinect gesture and voice controls. Unilever's interactive campaign for the Axe Attract for Him deodorant brand involves transforming the original digital advertisement into a NUads TV spot for Xbox.
"Microsoft Signs First NUads Advertisers, Including Toyota, Unilever and Samsung Mobile USA, on Xbox LIVE", Microsoft , June 14, 2012, © Microsoft
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Innovation
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Worldwide
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Tokyo Gap Stores Launch NFC-Enabled Marketing Campaign

June 12, 2012: 04:24 AM EST
Two Gap stores in Tokyo launched "Like with a high-five," an NFC-based marketing campaign for the Summer T Coordinates collection. Based on a technology used by printing company Toppan in a test campaign for Revlon, customers can use an NFC bracelet to "like" the outfit worn by a Gap sales staff member. Japan, which, according to Wireless Watch, has more than 70 million near-field communication-enabled devices, is one of the leading countries in terms of NFC adoption in retail, advertising, and payment systems. Proponents promoted the technology by emphasizing the convenience offered by NFC payment systems. With consumers already comfortable using NFC payment systems, companies are testing NFC as a tool for communicating with customers.
Michael Keferl , "Near-Field Communication Is Shifting Marketing in Japan", Advertising Age, June 12, 2012, © Crain Communications
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Innovation
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Beauty
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Worldwide
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Japan

Scentsy Wickless Launches Personal Care Product Line With Customizable Fragrance

June 1, 2012: 04:01 AM EST
Scentsy Wickless launched the Layers by Scentsy personal care product line, which allows consumers to customize scents by using nine personal and laundry care fragrance products. Layers by Scentsy comes with eight fragrance products, including shower cream and gel, body lotion, body butter, body spray, and hand cream. The products come with packaging that creates a "sense of motion and action." Promoting a high-end image, the black package also incorporates the color of each fragrance on the product label, while the product logo creates a layering effect.
Lisa Samalonis, Associate Editor, "Online Exclusive: Fragrance in Motion", Beauty Packaging, June 01, 2012, © Rodman Publishing
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Innovation
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Household Care
Personal Care
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Worldwide
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Protein Trend Means Sales Boost For Powder, Bar Makers

May 31, 2012: 09:07 AM EST
America’s demand for protein is surging, thanks to a torrent of advice from physical trainers, diet gurus and weight-loss plans; that means big business for makers of protein powders, shakes and energy bars. The boost in protein demand is also benefiting retail grocers, whose shelves are now packed with protein products, replacing space once stocked with high-fiber and low-fat products. The irony is that, even without the protein powders and bars, Americans already eat plenty of protein, experts say. A diet survey from 2007-2008 shows “men and women commonly consuming more protein than needed, sometimes by a third or more,” the AP reports.
Michael Hill, "Beyond meat: Americans preoccupied with protein", BusinessWeek, May 31, 2012, via Associated Press, © The Associated Press
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Innovation
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Food
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Large Corporations Embracing Social Networks As Business Tool

May 17, 2012: 03:07 AM EST
Sales of software for running corporate social networks is forecast to grow 61 percent each year to reach $6.4 billion in value by 2016, according to Forrester Research. Large companies are adopting Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking platforms as tools for business operations, including building teams, sharing information with employees and business partners, and involving customers in product development. Two-thirds of large companies currently use Web 2.0 tools, such as social networks and blogs, according to McKinsey & Co.'s survey, which also revealed that use of internal social networks grew 50 percent since 2008.
Tim Mullaney, "Social media is reinventing how business is done", USA TODAY, May 17, 2012, © USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc
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Innovation
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Strategy
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Worldwide
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Carrefour City Launches Mobile Grocery Shopping Service

May 15, 2012: 04:01 AM EST
Carrefour's convenience store business Carrefour City launched Mon Panier, a mobile grocery shopping service based on Airtag's Airshop near field communication technology for the retail market. Currently operating at the St Lazare outlet in Paris, the Mon Panier service enables consumers to place and pay for their order using their smartphone; Carrefour City workers then prepare the order for pickup by consumers. Shoppers can claim their grocery as early as two hours after placing their order.
Sarah Clark , "Carrefour uses NFC and QR codes to speed up grocery shopping", nfcworld.com, May 15, 2012, © SJB Research
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Retail
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Asda Completes Trial Of Tensator's Virtual Store Assistant

May 7, 2012: 03:25 AM EST
Asda conducted a trial of Tensator's hologram store-assistant technology at one of the retail chain's stores in Buckinghamshire, UK. During the trial period, a female virtual assistant was programmed to greet shoppers and offer details of the retail chain's 10 percent price guarantee. Tensator claims that the virtual assistant technology, which was also tested in airports, will soon be implemented in most supermarkets.
"Shoppers at Asda to be greeted by holograms ", Telegraph (UK), May 07, 2012, © Telegraph Media Group Limited
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Innovation
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Retail
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Procter & Gamble Among Best Companies In Promoting Innovation, Hay Group Report Says

May 2, 2012: 03:42 AM EST
Consumer packaged goods manufacturer Procter & Gamble is among the top 5 companies in terms of leadership and innovation, according to the Best Companies for Leadership Study and Top 20 list released by management consulting firm Hay Group. Topped by General Electric, the list recognizes the best companies in creating workplaces and processes that promote innovation, with all of the Top 20 companies indicating that their managers often highlight innovation, while only 49 percent of other companies do. Also, 90 percent of the Top 20 companies said employees with innovative ideas can bypass the chain of command.
"Seventh Annual Hay Group Study Identifies Best Companies for Leadership", Hay Group , May 02, 2012, © Hay Group
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Innovation
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Food
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Wal-Mart's Technology Unit Makes Apps For Its Social Media, Mobile Marketing

May 1, 2012: 04:10 AM EST
Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s @WalmartLabs business unit has created applications for the retailer's social media and mobile marketing and online shopping operations. @WalmartLabs started with Kosmix, a technology startup acquired by Wal-Mart in 2011 mainly for its "social genome" technology. Social genome gathers consumer data from social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare, and performs semantic analysis, which interprets consumers' actions on social media platforms, such as status updates and posts. Using social genome, @WalmartLabs created the Shopycat, a Facebook application for finding gifts, as well as iPad and iPhone apps.
Joseph Tarnowski, "Retail + Social + Mobile = @WalmartLabs", The Progressive Grocer, May 01, 2012, © Stagnito Media
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Innovation
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Retail
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Kroger Depends On POS Technology To Give Customers Positive Checkout Experience

April 30, 2012: 04:12 AM EST
Kroger has invested in a range of point-of-sale technology to keep its promise to make customers spend as little time as possible in line when checking out their purchases. Kroger's front-end POS relies on a technology from IBM — ACE software running on 4690 operating system-powered SurePOS 700 terminals, which allows it to test self-checkout services. Most of the company's IT investments, however, focus on improving its conventional checkout lanes; for example, Kroger installed in 2011 Irisys' QueVision system, which monitors the number of shoppers and alerts management to open more checkouts to deal with them.
Michael Garry, "Technology Helps Kroger Keep Fast-Checkout Promise", Supermarket News, April 30, 2012, © Penton Media, Inc.
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Innovation
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Retail
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Tesco Launches Online Shopping In Thailand

April 28, 2012: 03:10 AM EST
UK-based retailer Tesco's Thailand unit, Tesco Lotus, will launch its Internet shopping business in 2012 as part of the company's strategy to expand its retail operations in the country. Its online shopping platform will enable customers to purchase dry and fresh-food products easily, according to Tesco Lotus, which has invested more than 130 billion baht in Thailand and provided business opportunities to over 9,000 Thai suppliers and 14,000 small and medium-sized companies that sell their products in malls operated by the company.
KWANCHAI RUNGFAPAISARN, "Top retailer to launch Internet shopping", THE NATION , April 28, 2012, © www.nationmultimedia.com
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Thailand
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Cargill Bakery Innovations To Be Displayed At Bakery Showcase

April 24, 2012: 08:01 AM EST
Cargill and Horizon Milling will display some healthier food prototypes at a Canadian Bakery Showcase in the first week of May in Toronto. Company representatives will also be on hand to discuss the wheat market and “solutions available to manage commodity driven risk”. Prototype foods on display will include: a lower sodium chocolate cookie made with the SaltWise sodium reduction system, a breakfast cookie made with Iliggo-Fiber inulin fiber, and a shelf stable vanilla cookie made with an omega-3 shortening. Products with cleaner labels will also be featured, including unfrosted layer cakes made with a cake base that used no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
"Cargill and Horizon Milling Showcase Innovations in Health and Wellness, Risk Management and Cleaner Labels", News release, Cargill, April 24, 2012, © Cargill
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Food
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New Photo “Pinning” Web Site Gathers Momentum

April 6, 2012: 01:49 AM EST
The third most-visited Web site – after Facebook and Twitter – is a newbie known as Pinterest, where visitors “pin” photos and Internet info onto virtual boards. The ranking, reported by Experian, is based on the total U.S. visitors in March, not including mobile users. Pinterest’s founder Ben Silbermann says the key to the eye-popping success since its launch in March 2010 – and especially in the last six months – is the fact that people “pin photos of products they'd like to buy and other interesting bits of info they find while trolling the Internet.” He says the site is about helping people find things they didn’t know they wanted. Experian says the majority of visitors (60 percent) are women, and President Obama recently joined.
John D. Sutter, "Report: Pinterest is third most-visited social site", CNN.com, April 06, 2012, © Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
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Beauty Companies Rapidly Adopting Eco-Friendly Packaging

April 4, 2012: 03:49 AM EST
Leading beauty brands adhering to principles of sustainability and social responsibility are not only using naturally-sourced ingredients in their products, they have successfully adopted eco-friendly packaging, according to market researcher Euromonitor. The trend is perhaps the most significant innovation in personal care and beauty, and is driven by technological advances in packaging. For example, Procter & Gamble is now using a sugarcane-based bottles for its Pantene’s Pro-V Nature Fusion line and CoverGirl and Max Factor brands. Sugar cane replaces petroleum, and is not only sustainable, it's is cheaper. Euromonitor says sustainability, social responsibility and environmental integrity have become major components of the operations of beauty companies, and will remain so.
Rob Walker, Euromonitor International, "Sustainability Drives Game Changing Innovation in Beauty", GCI Magazine , April 04, 2012, © Allured Business Media
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Innovation
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Beauty
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CPG Ad Market Offers A Big Revenue Opportunity For Amazon.com

April 3, 2012: 02:20 AM EST
Amazon.com has begun to ramp up its online advertising program targeting  consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies in hopes of attracting some of the billions of dollars spent annually on online ads in that sector. According to an Internet market research firm, spending by CPG companies on online ads will double by 2015 to $5 billion. The head of Amazon’s global ad sales called the CPG advertising market a “huge opportunity” in a recent speech, noting that only four percent of its customers purchase CPG products.
Alistair Barr, "Amazon eyes ad dollars in consumer packaged goods", Reuters, April 03, 2012, © Thomson Reuters
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Innovation
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Retail
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L'Oréal Opens International Hair Research Center In Paris

March 28, 2012: 03:12 AM EST
L'Oréal inaugurated its Global Hair Research Centre in Paris, France, as the headquarters for its six regional research centers around the world. Representing a total investment of €100 million, the research center uses advanced automation and modeling tools to conduct its research and innovation programs, which are focused on hair coloring, hair care, styling, and services, such as perms and straightening. The research center employs 500 researchers, including chemists, opticians, and metrologists.
"L'Oréal inaugurates its Global Hair Research Centre", L'Oréal, March 28, 2012, © L'Oreal
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Bullish Marketing Execs Expect Big Increases In Budgets, Especially For Online Campaigns

March 27, 2012: 11:25 PM EST
Marketing executives optimistic about the economy predict significant increases in spending overall and particularly in online efforts, a survey has found. Marketing budgets are expected to grow by as much as 8.1 percent in the next year, with much of that growth coming from online spending. The survey found that companies planned to earmark 7.4 percent of marketing budgets on social media campaigns in the next 12 months and expect that number to nearly triple in the next five years. Still, the survey found, nearly one in five execs say their companies have not yet integrated social media into marketing strategies.
"Execs Foresee Continued Shift to Digital Marketing", eMarketer, March 27, 2012, © eMarketer Inc.
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Innovation
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Truvia Unveils Low-Calorie Stevia/Sugar Blend For Baking

March 27, 2012: 11:48 AM EST
Cargill’s Truvia brand has launched a low-calorie stevia/sugar blend for use in baking. According to the company, Truvia Baking Blend bakes and browns like sugar, but has 75 percent fewer calories per serving than sugar. For baking recipes, sugar amounts can be replaced with half as much Truvia. A 1.5 pound, $6.99 bag of Truvia Baking Blend has the equivalent sweetness of three pounds of sugar (about seven cups). Half a cup of Truvia Baking Blend has 190 calories and provides the same sweetness as a cup of sugar with 760 calories.
"New Truvia Baking Blend Arrives on Retail Shelves: Offering Home Bakers 75% Fewer Calories, Naturally ", News release, Cargill, March 27, 2012, © Cargill
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“Antioxidant” Is The Magic Word For Personal Care, Cosmetics Products

March 27, 2012: 03:31 AM EST
A survey of 2,000 American adults by researcher Packaged Facts finds that the word “antioxidant” on cosmetics product labels attracts greater attention from female shoppers. Forty-four percent of women purchase skin care products that tout antioxidant content. According to Packaged Facts, retail sales of antioxidant cosmetics products reached $3.9 billion, and about $2.2 billion of that comprised skin care products. Top antioxidant ingredients in hair and skin products include cocoa, green tea, and pomegranate. The researcher said that “innumerable” cosmetics and personal care  products contain antioxidants, but the more appealing ones feature the term prominently on labels.
Michelle Yeomans , "Antioxidant products a cosmetic winner according to market researcher", Cosmetics Design, March 27, 2012, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Murray Lender’s Story: Innovation Takes A So-So Ethnic Bread Product To National Success

March 27, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Murray Lender’s major innovation in bagel baking – slicing, freezing and shipping nationally – was kept a secret for two years in his native New Haven, Conn., Jewish community “until an accidental delivery of frozen bagels exposed them.” Though the jig was up, Lender, who died in March, was onto a good thing: a way to smooth out the peaks and valleys of bagel demand (and supply) while putting his product – albeit a mediocre one – on the shelves of American supermarkets. As food writer Matthew Yglesias notes, it was only a matter of time before new customers discovered the convenience of frozen bagels “and the bagel became a nationally available foodstuff.” Unfortunately, he says, the bagels available so conveniently in supermarkets are “much too big and lacking the textural contrast produced by poaching the dough before baking.”
Matthew Yglesias, "Lender’s Bagels and the Power of Mediocrity", Slate, March 27, 2012, © The Slate Group, LLC
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Nondairy Oat-Based Shakes Offer All-Natural, Vegan Alternative To Sugary Drinks

March 18, 2012: 01:20 AM EST
An oat-based nutritional beverage developed by Finnish émigrés and unveiled a year ago in the U.S. was recognized by the National Restaurant Association for its innovative all-natural  ingredient profile. Simpli OatShake offers “a perfect alternative to soy, rice, and dairy products,” the company says, because it contains no dairy, eggs, wheat, nuts, soy or artificial ingredients, is vegan-certified and free of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). The product -- available in three flavors: coffee, chocolate and tropical fruit – contains no added colors, preservatives or high fructose corn syrup. Simpli is marketing the creamy shakes as nondairy alternatives to sugary drinks, especially for children.
"Simpli OatShake Wins 2012 Food & Beverage Product Innovation Award", Business Wire, March 18, 2012, © Business Wire
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Method Launches New Laundry Product Refill Pouch With Award-Winning Packaging

March 15, 2012: 03:00 AM EST
Method launched its new Method Laundry & Dish Refill Pouch (with Spine), which comes in a packaging from Innovative Packaging Solutions, Inc., winner of the Gold prize at the Flexible Packaging Association for Technical Innovation's 2012 Flexible Packaging Achievements Awards. The Refill Spine Pouch was designed by Method's director of packaging Rudi Becker to be convenient to handle and look better on store shelves than conventional refill pouches.
Anne Marie Mohan, "Pouch with spine is upstanding innovation for refills", Greener Package, March 15, 2012, © Summit Media Group, Inc.
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Procter & Gamble Launches Brand of Men's Skincare Products With Ingredient Derived From Yeast Fermentation

March 8, 2012: 03:57 AM EST
Procter & Gamble launched the SK-II Men Facial Treatment Essence prestige brand of male skincare products, which the company claims helps renew the skin's outer layer and make it soft and young-looking. The products contain Pitera, an ingredient derived from the fermentation process used at sake breweries and that the company claims helps promote natural rejuvenation of the skin's surface.
"SK-II Men Facial Treatment Essence", Procter & Gamble, March 08, 2012, © Procter & Gamble
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24-Hour Cupcake “ATM” Is A Cash Cow For Sprinkles Cupcake Company

March 8, 2012: 10:20 AM EST
Fulfilling a late-night craving for a cupcake is no longer an impossibility, thanks to a technological advance in food vending. The high-tech ATM-like machine developed by California’s Sprinkles Cupcakes accepts credit cards for the purchase of $4.00 packaged, freshly-baked “haute” cupcakes that are instantly dispensed, 24 hours a day. The company’s success with the cupcake ATM -- it may not dispense cash but is definitely a cash cow -- is driving expansion of the technology to its nine locations across the country, including New York, D.C., and Chicago.
Sonya Hamasaki , "Cupcake ATM vends sweet treats around the clock", CNN eatocracy, March 08, 2012, © Cable News Network
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Interactive Technologies Gaining A Toehold In Cosmetics Marketing

March 7, 2012: 04:06 AM EST
The beauty industry is rapidly adapting advanced interactive technologies such as QR (quick response ) codes, USB ports, embedded sound and video in its product packaging and point-of-sale sites to more fully engage shoppers. Researcher Mintel says the new interactive technologies targeted at smartphone users are one of the hottest trends in the cosmetics industry in 2012. Also on the rise are the use of tablets and screens that personalize the POS buying experience. A Mintel researcher says this “blurring of the online and offline space” allows brands to get closer than ever to consumers. 
Michelle Yeomans , "Interactive packaging set to be 2012 global trend", Cosmetics Design, March 07, 2012, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Move Over Food Supplements: Functional Cookies Claim To Cure What Ails You

March 5, 2012: 10:00 AM EST
A baker in California claims that his Chocolate Chip Nookie cookie contains an ingredient that increases sexual “vitality” in men and women. The “active” ingredient is a root called maca, which is considered Peru’s all-natural Viagra because it boosts strength, energy, stamina, libido, and sexual function. The innovative functional cookie was recently exhibited at the Natural Products Expo West, along with baker Akiva Resnikoff’s brain-boosting and hangover relief cookies.
"Cookie for bedroom nookie? Aphrodisiac and hangover cookies to debut at organic trade show", Yahoo News, March 05, 2012, via AFP Relax News , © AFP Relax News
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Big Retailers Join Google, Telecoms, Banks In Developing Cellphone Shopping Solutions

March 1, 2012: 02:38 AM EST
The fast-emerging market that is transforming cellphones into payment devices – a trend so far driven by Google and big cellphone companies – has left retail chains in the dust. In an effort to get some sort of competitive advantage about two dozen retailers, including Walmart and Target, are collaborating on creation of their own mobile-payments system. Already involved in the fray are banks, credit-card networks, telecom firms and technology companies, all scrambling to meet the demand among younger consumers for a simpler, faster way to use mobile devices to shop. Skeptics warn that all of this technology competition may  only confuse, rather than satisfy, consumers.
Robin Sidel, "Retailers Join Payment Chase", Wall Street Journal, March 01, 2012, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc
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Unilever Re-Launches Line Of Deodorant For Women, Adds Motionsense Technology

February 29, 2012: 01:23 AM EST
Unilever re-launched the Rexona for Women line of deodorant, with Motionsense technology and featuring an award-winning ergonomic design, in Europe, Canada, and the United States. First introduced in 2011, Motionsense is a technology for incorporating the fragrance into minute packages that open gradually during the day, releasing odor-fighting fragrance whenever the consumer moves.
"The more you move, the more it works", Unilever, February 29, 2012, © Unilever
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Procter & Gamble Launches Tide Pods Brand Of High-End Laundry Detergent

February 23, 2012: 01:42 AM EST
After eight years of developing and testing with more than 6,000 consumers, Procter & Gamble Co. launched the Tide Pods, small, dissolvable packets that cost about 25% more per load than regular liquid. As competitors launch similar products, P&G aims to convince consumers to buy Tide Pods by emphasizing the convenience factor. P&G expects Tide Pods to generate $300 million in the first year and the pod category to reach 30% in a decade.
Emily Glazer, "Tide Rides Convenience Wave", Wall Street Journal, February 23, 2012, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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L'Oréal Uses Interactive POS To Help Consumers Select Perfume

February 23, 2012: 01:55 AM EST
L'Oréal Luxe Division in Portugal partnered with Ynvisible to develop an interactive point-of-sale display that helps consumers select perfume based on Ynvisible's printed electrochromic display technology. Specialized printing company Guide helped in production of the interactive POS, which lets consumers answer three questions to help suggest perfume choices.
Sara Ver-Bruggen , "L’Oréal rolls out Ynvisible’s interactive printed electronic displays", +Plastic Electronics , February 23, 2012, © +Plastic Electronics
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Procter & Gamble Steps Up R&D Spending, Denies Losing Innovative Edge

February 20, 2012: 01:55 AM EST
Procter & Gamble is addressing market perceptions that the company is losing its edge in innovation, which investors and analysts believe is causing the declines in the packaged goods manufacturer's revenue, market share, and product launches. P&G has increased by 60 percent its research and development spending to more than $2 billion and expanded efforts to develop brands and categories.
Jack Neff , "Why Some Think P&G's Innovation Is Slipping", Advertising Age, February 20, 2012, © Crain Communications
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Unilever Partners With Glamour Magazine To Launch Mobile Marketing Campaign

February 17, 2012: 02:45 AM EST
Consumers can buy Unilever's products, including those from the Dove, Tresemme, and Nexus personal care brands, using mobile bar codes included in ads in Glamour magazine. The ads include snaptags, developed by SpyderLynk, which let consumers download Glamour's Friends & Fans application or access a mobile Web page to purchase the products online.
Rimma Kats, "Unilever ramps up mcommerce strategy via mobile bar code implementation", Mobile Commerce Daily, February 17, 2012, © Napean LLC
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