Between giving consumers what they want, focusing on real food and getting back to the future, our R&D teams are embracing an exciting and complex period of disruptive innovation. Carlos Barroso, Senior Vice President, Research and Development and Global Quality, breaks it all down for us in Food Technology.
Keeping It Real at Campbell Soup
by Carlos Barroso, Food Technology
The food revolution is here to stay. Seismic demographic and economic changes and the fusion of health, well-being, and technology have reshaped the way food innovators grow, make, market, and sell food. Consumers are seeking fresher, healthier, and naturally functional foods. Make no mistake, the most exciting time for disruptive innovation is the here and now.
Campbell Soup Co. is navigating this sea of change. Our anchor is our company purpose, “Real food that matters for life’s moments.” This purpose, which we declared in 2014, has been a galvanizing driver of culture change at Campbell. It is the North Star that guides our innovation and serves as a filter for our decisions.
But what exactly is “real food”? This was a discussion that Campbell’s R&D and quality leaders contributed to over the course of 18 months. We believe that real food comes from the earth. It is made with recognizable, desirable ingredients from plants or animals. Real food should be prepared with care and be responsibly crafted using ethical sourcing and sustainable practices that safeguard the natural resources we all share. Real food should be accessible to all. It should always be safe and available at a fair price. And finally, real food is food we’re proud to serve in our own home. It’s the food we feel good about serving to our families.
There is an essential ingredient I have not mentioned. And, in fact, it is the most important attribute of everything we do in food and beverage R&D, and that is taste. Campbell’s passion is to make delicious food that consumers love. The innovation challenge is that real food that tastes good is not an either/or proposition. Our food must be both. This is the essence of innovation. Constraints drive innovation. Our company and our consumers have huge expectations around delicious flavors. The reality is that like many food companies, we have constraints—constraints around costs, ingredients, and manufacturing. Solving for those constraints and delivering delicious real foods and beverages that consumers want while creating layers of competitive advantage is the Holy Grail for our industry. It is how R&D organizations can add the most value to their company.
To read the full article by Carlos, visit Food Technology.