Older consumers are generally more brand loyal while millennials seek innovation

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on August 30, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 5.32.20 PMTargeting innovation-hungry millennials?  We ought not forget our more established customers, who tend to purchase their tried and true products. Here is an interesting article I found by Andrew McDougal on Cosmetics Design- Europe.

He writes that while there is a big focus on attracting millennials who seek innovation right now, older consumers’ preferences become more established as they age suggesting that as they age, they become more brand loyal.

Check out the article here:

The Five Hottest Innovation Trends

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on August 29, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 5.18.04 PMThe start up craze. 3-D printing. Uber, AirBNB and the unstoppable On Demand Economy. My friend Robert Tucker has been reporting on these and other driving forces of change:

Only a year ago, we were just hearing about the “sharing economy” (since renamed the On Demand Economy), today the mainstream media reports on these trends constantly. Check out these top five I-Trends:

1. The Start Up Trend Goes Global.

On recent swings thru the Middle East and Africa, I heard less about turmoil in the region, and often about the increasing number of startups sprouting. Today’s breed of entrepreneurs are discovering that funding is available, customers are receptive, technology is cheap and scalable, and many a market’s incumbent players are vulnerable to new business models that offer fresh solutions. The secret is to have a good idea, and the old adage “find a need and fill it” still applies. Winning entrepreneurs seek to solve problems people have that they aren’t solving particularly well, and are open to change.  Serial entrepreneur Richard Barton, whose startups include Zillow, Expedia, Glassdoor and others, says he gets ideas by repeatedly asking a simple question: “what piece of marketplace information do people crave and don’t have?” In sum: the startup boom, and lower fuel costs, is providing much needed oxygen to the still-strained global economy and will likely spread (Iran’s startup culture may lead the growth). The impact on the corporate world is clear: better disrupt yourself or someone else will.

  1. Additive Manufacturing is Nearing a Tipping Point.

According to Gartner, a technology becomes mainstream when adoption levels reach 20 percent, which is approximately where this nascent industry is today. As predicted in InnovationTrends May 2014, practical uses of 3-D printing are exploding, as more and more creative people use the new devices to solve problems and create opportunities. NASA uses 3-DP to rapidly prototype at lower cost. Stage set designers on Broadway are using 3-DP to churn out sample sets overnight. Ships at sea are using 3-DP printers to make replacement parts, doing away with costly backup inventory. Charities worldwide are creating 3D-printed prosthetics for those who could never afford them otherwise. UPS is building on its existing third party logistics business to add 3-D printing mini-factories for just in time deliveries. But the real tipping point comes when failure to adapt to the Additive Trend starts becoming a necessity to survival. According to Dartmouth’s Richard D’Aveni, (Harvard Business Review, May, 2015), “The U.S. hearing aid industry converted to 100 percent additive manufacturing in less than 500 days, and not one company that stuck to traditional manufacturing methods survived.”

Read the rest at Robert’s Innovation Resource blog:

Steel plant to convert harmful byproducts into renewable energy

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on August 28, 2015

Here’s innovation news we regularly post on our Facebook Page. Like us for more!

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 5.08.38 PMArcelorMittal — the world’s largest steel company — produced 93.1 million tons of steel in 2014, generating a problematic amount of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. But now, the company is launching a pilot scheme at their Ghent plant in partnership with bioengineering organization LanzaTech, which will convert this waste product into useful ethanol, using a microbe originally found in rabbits’ guts.

LanzaTech’s system captures carbon monoxide using a customized clostridium microbe and converts it into bioethanol, which can be sold to power cars and airplanes. The scheme is expected to cost EUR 87 million, but if successful the plant could eventually produce 47,000 tons of ethanol a year, and would potentially lead to the system being utilized in all of the company’s factories.

ArcelorMittal are not the first corporation to experiment with turning a polluting byproduct into a financial asset: we recently wrote about United Airline’s new biofuel made from household trash. Both schemes could benefit the companies financially, as well as the environment with its renewable energy alternatives. Construction is expected to begin in 2017. What other waste products could be transformed in this way?

Website: www.arcelormittal.com  (Via SpringWise)

A can’t-miss event for consumer goods innovators

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on August 26, 2015

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If you are a senior level consumer goods executive or actively involved with your organization’s global expansion projects, I highly encourage you to attend Achieving Profitable Growth and Innovation, a conference from our friends at Consumer Goods Technology. You’ll need to sign up soon, because it takes place September 16 – 18 in Fort Lauderdale, Fl.

The CG industry in North America has seen a significant transition to global expansion, including the Emerging Markets playing field. However, an international transition is not a simple task; companies cannot assume they will be able to replicate products and processes and be successful in new markets. That’s why the Consumer Goods Emerging Markets Forum was created, and this year’s theme, Achieving Profitable Growth & Innovation, focuses on the need to expand in a sustainable manner.

Featuring a case study approach, the forum is designed to bring together CG executives to share their experiences and engage in discussions around best practices. Session topics include: an overview of the global landscape, case studies by major CG companies on transitioning from investment to profit and innovating for specific regional requirements, discussions on logistics, retail, and marketing issues, and panels on regional best practices and technology.

Targeted at individuals with global responsibilities, the forum is appropriate for companies already in Emerging Markets who strive to expand in those areas and/or break into additional geographies, as well as those just starting their journey.

I’ll see you in Fort Lauderdale!

Drinkable book can be used as high-tech water filters

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on August 18, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 5.47.38 PMHere’s news of an eco-book that shares info about clean drinking water, so the reader can use the actual pages as high-tech filters that will remove 99% of bacteria from the filtered water. It’s part of a new bactericidal silver nanoparticle paper. Perhaps someday it can bring clean water to the 663 million people who don’t have access to it. Here’s more from the official website:

The Drinkable Book™ is both a water filter and an instruction manual for how and why to clean drinking water. This filter is patent pending technology (US Serial No 62/153,395), and works to produce clean drinking water by pouring dirty water through a thick, sturdy sheet of paper embedded with silver nanoparticles (a.k.a. pAge drinking paper), which are lethal for microbes. This paper was created and shown to be highly antibacterial during Theresa’s Ph.D. at McGill University. Additionally, these filters meet US EPA guidelines for bacteria removal to produce safe drinking water. The filters can last a couple of weeks, even up to a month, so the entire books could provide the tools to filter clean water for about a year. While at University of Virginia for her postdoc, Theresa and a team of students tested these filter papers with water sources in South Africa at the WATERisLIFE.com for the next step in developing The Drinkable Book™ for use in the real world. With WATERisLIFE, the filter papers have been successfully field trialed in Ghana, Haiti, and Kenya. Hopefully soon, pAge water filters will supply cheap clean drinking water for many, many people in the developing world.

Check out the video:

Achieving Profitable (and Sustainable) Growth and Innovation

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on August 11, 2015

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I’m excited for this upcoming event next month in Fort Lauderdale, and am inviting you to join me at a special rate on behalf of the Consumer Goods Emerging Market (CGEM) Committee and CGT.

Join me in attending a groundbreaking CG industry-specific executive meeting for Global Expansion in New and Emerging Markets. The meeting will be held at the luxurious Ritz-Carlton, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, September 16-18, 2015.

The theme for this year’s forum will dive into  “Achieving Profitable (and Sustainable) Growth and Innovation” and will feature leading CG industry best practices and trends, along with real-world case studies (and more!) inspiring progressive dialogue for aligning global business strategies and technology investments in new and emerging markets. Whether your company is currently in new and mature global markets and looking to expand or just beginning the journey in developing a global strategy for new and emerging market opportunities, I would recommend you and your team attend.

This special event delivers an intimate environment for you and your team to network with new/existing executive peers, hear relevant content to apply to your business, and share your experiences with other CG industry executives. On-stage content will be presented through select case studies and executive panel discussions. We recently welcomed to the agenda senior global executives from both Clorox and P&G.  The final session will engage a lively interactive wrap up providing you with key takeaways from the executive group. You will be given an outline to bring back into your organization. To view the current agenda, feel free to click here: Agenda.

As my guest, you will receive a VIP Executive Pass. This executive pass includes all conference sessions, networking meals, cocktail receptions and hotel room (including tax) at the Ritz-Carlton for the duration of the event. VIP passes are limited so I would encourage you to register ASAP. Simply register here for online registration or connect directly with our event audience specialist, Lacey, at 973-607-1359 to register over the phone.  Either way, please refer to our special VIP code: CGEMCVIPin order to realize the VIP offer.

I look forward to seeing you in September! Do not hesitate to call me directly should you have any further questions.

Unilever, Walgreens Team Up for Social Impact

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on August 8, 2015

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Never before have we seen partnerships lead to so many new creative and lucrative experiences for consumers and the businesses themselves, especially where social media and crowdsourcing are involved.

Check out this report from our friends at Consumer Goods Technology (CGT):

Unilever and Walgreens have joined forces for the first time with Me to We to provide customers with a new way to make a positive impact on the world through everyday purchases. Give H2OPE to Others (#GiveH2OPE) enables Walgreens customers to make a life-changing difference for children and families in need. Beginning July 26 and through Sept. 30, purchases made at Walgreens of select Unilever TRESemmé, Suave or Caress products will help provide up to 15 million gallons of clean water to developing communities.

“Walgreens is dedicated to championing everyone’s right to be happy and healthy, and by offering programs that reflect this mission, we aim to make it easy for customers to take part and help make a difference,” said Walgreens President Alex Gourlay. “We look forward to supporting our customers as they participate in this meaningful cause to make a true impact.”

A unique collaboration between the consumer packaged goods, retail and non-profit sectors, Give H2OPE to Others leverages a sustainable international development model to help benefit families in rural areas. The program will engage consumers with brands they know and love while empowering them to make a difference through simple actions taken at home. The donation from one Unilever product purchase will supply five gallons of clean water to families and communities in rural Kenya.

The partnership ladders up to sustainability initiatives that are priorities for both Unilever and Walgreens, and is designed to help show that even the smallest steps can have a large-scale social impact – such as making purchase decisions that positively impact others. The donations triggered from these purchases will supply clean water that helps reduce the incidence of waterborne disease and illness, and will cut time spent collecting water – allowing students to spend more time in the classroom, and increase time spent towards productive activities like farming or working.

Launched in 2010, the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan sets out to double the size of Unilever’s business while reducing the company’s environmental footprint and increasing its positive social impact. The company continues to make progress against the rigorous goals set forth in the plan, including enhancing livelihoods for millions around the world. This partnership with a retailer is the first time that the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan has been realized through a direct impact tied to product purchase, encouraging consumers to join Unilever on their journey to pave the way for a bright future.

Consumers will not only be contributing to the cause through their purchases, but also can track the impact to see how their actions contribute to the donation goal. The Me to We ‘Track Your Impact’ function at www.walgreens.com/trackyourimpact allows customers to enter the UPC code for each product purchased at Walgreens to see the effect their small action has.

“Clean water isn’t a luxury; it’s a basic human right. The Give H2OPE to Others campaign will provide five gallons of clean water that can be used for drinking, basic household activities and drip irrigation for household gardens,” says Craig Kielburger, Co-Founder, Me to We. “This partnership will ultimately make a tremendous impact in the lives of so many families overseas, helping to break the cycle of poverty for many.”

Emerging Markets Growth to Continue for Heineken

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on August 5, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 8.22.52 AMOur friends at Consumer Goods Technology (CGT) report:

Jean-François van Boxmeer, chief executive of Heineken, the world’s third largest brewer, told CNBC that he expected to see continued sales growth in emerging markets, despite the occasional “hiccup” in the future.

Heineken reported higher first-half results than markets expected as it increased profit in all regions except Africa and maintained its full-year forecast of growth, albeit slower than in 2014.

The Dutch brewer fared best in Asia, where expansion was strongest thanks to double-digit percentage growth in Vietnam thanks to its Tiger brand, followed by the Americas, where Heineken brews in Mexico and exports into the United States.

“The volume growth and the business growth in emerging markets is much higher than in developed markets – it is 8 percent growth year-on-year as opposed to a flatish and slightly down (growth rate) in developed markets so that’s how big the difference is,” said van Boxmeer.

“It’s a trend which is there to stay,” he added. “The macro-trends over the next 25 years are poised to be positive for our industry,” he added, despite some “hiccups from time to time.”

Click here for the full story on Heineken’s emerging markets growth.

Plantbeat measures the health of crops

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on July 25, 2015
Courtesy: Phytech

Courtesy: Phytech

Have you heard of PlantBeat for farms? It’s being developed in Israel thanks to an Open Innovation partnership that is bringing the so-called “internet of things” to the U.S. and Central America. More on what it is in a moment.

First, the partnership. Israeli agritech firm Phytech, is partnering with ADAMA Agricultural Solutions to sell its plant-alert system to farmers in North and South America.

Says Phytech CEO Sarig Duek, “We believe that ADAMA’s grower-focused approach will ensure the successful implementation of the technology for the benefit of growers worldwide.”

PlantBeat service equips crops with sensors that record the surrounding growing environment of the crop or individual plant. It tells farmers when the plants need water, the soil temperature and other information. All of the data is uploaded online in a cloud system to be accessed by scientists via their mobile apps. When they get the report, they can take the appropriate action.

They call it “plantbeat,” because the monitoring system mimics the way heart patients are monitored these days by physicians using the cloud to keep track of heart rhythms and abnormalities.

The company says the popular system is already used by 60 percent of Israel’s tomato farmers. It went to beta in California last year, and was a huge success.

Read more here:

Could hologram technology change how wars are fought?

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on July 23, 2015

Courtesy: Wiki CommonsHologram technology is going even more sci-fi, in this report from the Boston Business Journal:

It may sound like something from “Star Wars,” but Waltham-based defense contractor Raytheon Co. is developing hologram technology that could change how wars are fought.

In a patent application published last week for “digital infrared holograms,” Raytheon (NYSE: RTN) said its technology could be used to generate “dynamic scenes for purposes of simulations or tutorials, such as training exercises for military personnel.”

But the technology could also be used in other ways, such as creating hologram decoy versions of tanks, for example, which “may cause the enemy to be reluctant to fire-on or attack as a result of a strong showing of force, or if the enemy does attack, may cause the enemy to fire-on the decoy tanks initially, thereby providing military personnel additional time to prepare to engage the enemy.”

Read the rest here