How Nestle New Business Ventures Create New Innovations | So Good News
VEVEY, SWITZERLAND — Nestle USA is putting its 30,000-strong workforce to work on new innovations. His company, New Business Ventures, partners with teams across the organization to stimulate “what-if” projects, lending expertise on early-stage trends to test new products and business models that meet evolving consumer tastes.
Launched in 2017, Nestle’s open channel innovation platform has led to the launch of nearly two dozen products. The latest example marks the company’s first foray into the frozen smoothie space.
Outshine Smoothie Cubes were launched this month in three fruity formulations. Varieties include banana, pineapple, papaya, date paste and beet juice with chia and B vitamins and Gut Supporter with strawberry, banana, coconut cream, carrot juice, date paste, beet juice, chia seeds. and fiber. A third option, Glow To, is made with Vital Proteins collagen peptides and contains banana, pineapple, mango, date paste, spinach, kale, kiwi, cucumber and chia seeds.
Users combine pre-blended fruit blends with liquid, let sit for 15 minutes, then shake for a mess-free smoothie experience.
The concept was created by Kelain Cleary, a member of Nestle’s contract manufacturing team. Originally called Blenderful Smoothie Cubes, the idea was to create a convenient and cost-effective way to start the day healthy.
“He pitched the idea to our executive team, and then we had a bunch of chefs develop the product,” said Doug Munk, senior director of New Business Ventures for Nestle. “Within six months of being greenlit, we went to 20 stores in northern California to test it. We’ve shown through sales and speed that we’re up to something, and because of Nestle’s scale, we’ve realized that Outshine is the perfect brand for the product.”
In September, Nestle added a new raspberry peanut butter flavor to the Rallyes Nut Butter Bombs lineup. The frozen food brand, which offers almond butter and salted cashew butter, launched last year online and in select retailers and will expand nationwide this fall.
Nestle first attempted to enter frozen foods a few years ago with its GoodBe brand of chilled yogurt and granola bars.
“What we hear from consumers is, ‘Yes, we want to shop in the refrigerated section for snacks, but we still want to have fun,'” Mr. Munk said. “It was a perfect execution of the turnaround we needed to make. GoodBe really focused on the good-for-you attributes and relied on probiotics. We saw an opportunity to dive deeper into the indulgence we allowed. This led us to the rallies.”
The key to Nestle’s innovation is testing and learning before making big bets. The company takes a cost-effective approach to launching new products developed through its in-house incubator. As an example, he gathered feedback and came up with the idea for Boosted Brew, a keto-friendly coffee enhancement.
Created by a Nestle employee and keto dieter, the shelf-stable cream is available on Amazon.
“Strengthened brews have great strength, great texture and are on par with what you see in coffee shops in terms of functional benefits,” Mr Munk said. “We’ve tested and learned along the way. We will make it brick and mortar in 2023.”
Nestle’s new Business Ventures will also focus on reshaping core brands to meet consumer needs. The open channel platform has spawned new additions to the Stouffer brand, such as filled Mac & Cheese Bites and Lasagna Bites.
The team also seeks to partner with emerging technology companies to create advanced customer support solutions.
“As we think about driving ideas across the organization, a key focus for us next year is expanding our crowdsourcing efforts for startups,” Mr. Munk said. “We have a new innovative challenge to provide a better experience for customers who want to connect with us.”