Market-Oriented Innovation in the Swedish Packaged Food Industry - Going Beyond Line Extensions
Sammanfattning: The competitive environment in the Swedish packaged food industry, in combination with changes in consumer lifestyles and consumers' changing demands, are placing new emphasis on packaged food innovation strategies. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate novel innovation approaches of two large Swedish brands in packaged food, in light of the ongoing market changes that are re-shaping the innovation landscape in the packaged food industry. For this purpose, an in-depth case-study approach is used, based on two leading companies, a branded manufacturer and a private label. The thesis describes and analyzes how these companies are adapting to the need for new innovation processes as the industry goes from a product-oriented to a market-oriented innovation approach. The companies' adaptation is analyzed in terms of; (a) the gathering and interpretation of consumer data, (b) the management of the innovation process, (c) the level of involvement in the network and (d) the effects resulting from the companies' approach to these three fields. Among other findings, the study concludes that the analyzed companies have moved towards a more consumer-centric approach in their innovation processes, and that although the quality of consumer intelligence obtained may not be better, it is deeper than previously; that a "conventional" linear innovation process model is still being used, though with added focus on consumer-involvement; that collaboration across the value chain is moving towards coopetition; and finally, that the products that result from the increased focus on market orientation tend not to reach up to the expectations of radical innovations, however the approach to innovation has become more innovative. The study ends with a general discussion around each of the four topics and some reflections in regards to the development of innovation in the Swedish industry as a whole.
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