The Feldwick Factor: Importance of innovation in salty snacks

Paul Feldwick

Why is innovation important to the retailer, shopper and manufacturer, particularly in the salty snack sector?

Business strategist, Snack Foods Brand

‘Innovation is our lifeblood!’ managers used to thunder at conferences - I dare say they still do - perhaps rightly so, in the rather obvious sense that every successful product, brand or variant was an innovation once.

It's a type of rhetoric, however, that risks ignoring the complexity of the subject. Innovation can mean many things, from a complete new concept to a minor improvement. Innovation can be done to add novelty or variety for the consumer, or convenience or some other benefit, or to stay ahead of competitors, or to introduce a higher (or lower) price point - or, I sometimes feel, to make up a new story to tell the retailer, or to give the marketing department something to do. A simple answer to your question might be: effective innovation adds value for the consumer, creates competitive advantage for the manufacturer, and extra profit for the retailer. But in real life it doesn't always appear so simple.