New, Salty and Tasty
Salty Snack division - about innovation, added value for the consumer and about the Israeli consumers reactions to culinary innovation.
Innovation is an inseparable part of Strauss’s activity in all of its businesses and divisions. I am proud to be a part of these processes, and am happy to share my perspective with you: product development at the salty snacks production plant.
Our salty snacks division includes five major production lines: Frito Lay (Tapuchips), Doritos, Cheetos (crunch and shapes), a baked peanut snack (Shoosh), and coated peanuts. My mission is to take the dreams, ideas and recent developments of the marketing department and transform them into actual products that are fun to eat. The marketing team comes up with ideas, and we at the development team oversee the down-to-earth aspect of their input. In other words, we put theory into practice.
Innovation drives us forward and motivates us
Innovation is highly important in that it fuels companies. It enables a company to grow, evolve and differentiate itself from competitors. Using innovation we can reach new audiences with specifically-tailored product offerings. Growing a company by adding new value to each product according to consumers’ needs is a complex assignment, because it’s quite a challenge to find new value and even a greater challenge to manufacture it.
Technologists, engineers and production people think within the boundaries of existing limitations most of the time, whereas innovation lies beyond the boundaries of the known and familiar. Therefore, the biggest challenge facing me is never to say “impossible” to new ideas, but rather to find ways to deliver them. Once the way to create innovative products is found, I harness my colleagues and steer a development process toward regular serial production.
From dreams to practice
New products, be they newly-developed or improved existing ones, are an inseparable part of my daily routine: I engage simultaneously in renewed flavors, new recipes and production planning of products which will wait for you on the shelf (and whose launch date I can’t disclose).
While innovation is practiced all over the developed world, Israelis seem to have a special flare for renewing things. I wonder about the reasons for this – the fact that we lack a monolithic food tradition could be a major contributor. It may well be that unlike traditional pizza in Italy, or dairy and chocolate products in Switzerland, the Israeli melting pot creates a fabric of various traditions, culinary mixes and endless possibilities to renew, innovate and embrace practices from numerous traditions.
Do Israelis like to Innovate?
My next installment will deal with the other side of innovation, this time in the production plant itself: How do plant employees interact with innovation? How do old-time employees contend with it? Can everyone become accustomed to changes, and are employees even aware of the changes taking place around them? These and other questions will be answered next time.