In the 2013 PWC Global Innovation Survey including 1,757 C-level corporate executives, 97% considered innovation a priority. Yet only 10% of these respondents considered their company innovation leaders. That isn't a good sign.
With the above data in mind, can you even name the last truly innovative product launched by a major consumer packaged goods company within the last 5 years? If you are struggling to answer this question, this too speaks volumes about the current state of innovation within the consumer market space.
In my opinion, the most recent game changing innovations in the CPG world are Keurig and P&G's Swiffer. The former was a start-up and the latter launched over 15 years ago. Beyond these, I am challenged to name many other truly profound new products launches. Tide Pods, perhaps... How about you?
By comparison, during the same time period, we have seen numerous other industries disrupted by major business innovations, such as Netflix, Uber and Airbnb. We have also witnessed major advances in mobile devices and applications and wireless technologies, as well as 3D printing.
To be clear, there continue to be plenty of new product launches in the marketplace. We are seeing and hearing more M&A news (e.g. Dollar Shave Club, Seventh Generation) than major new product innovation. However, why isn't there more profound and frequent new product innovation? Perhaps this is about to change.
Increasingly, CPGs are beginning to partner with startups to seek to spark and accelerate innovation with new thinking, capabilities and approaches. While hopes for these collaborations remain high, there aren't yet any success stories of which I am aware. In contrast, a concerning sign: Coca Cola recently announced it was shuttering its Founders startup incubator.
I remain optimistic that we are on the verge of seeing some major new product news in the consumer products arena. Without this, industry incumbents face heightened risk of disruption by outside entities. The future will reveal itself soon enough. Let's see what happens next.
"Connecting You With The Right Solutions" BFS Innovations, Inc.