Kraft: Innovation is driving business momentum globally

Companies are continually challenged to find new ways to meet and anticipate emerging consumer demands, create innovative quality products and win in a fiercely competitive marketplace. Kraft Foods says it has been meeting, and beating, those challenges… It reports that new products generated 10.5% of net revenue in 2011, up from 7.4% in 2009 and robust innovation pipeline has delivered more than 70 new products in past year.

“Research and development is the fuel for our growth engine,” said Jean Spence, Executive Vice President, Research, Development & Quality. “We’re blending sharp consumer insights with advanced technologies to develop dozens of innovative new products that people want. This is the recipe that delivered a higher rate of revenue from new products last year than at any time in recent memory.”

Says a Kraft press release:

Kraft Foods’ increased investments in its R&D centres, its people and its ways of working have led to new products that better seize upon emerging consumer trends.

The company’s R&D team recently has created entirely new product categories with MiO Liquid Water Enhancer, Philadelphia Cooking Creme, Kraft MilkBite Milk & Granola Bars and Kenco Millicano Wholebean Instant Coffee.

R&D team members created belVita breakfast biscuits using a unique baking technology to better deliver sustained energy from its ingredients, Oscar Mayer Selects meats that use natural ingredients such as celery juice in place of artificial preservatives, and Cadbury Perk chocolates that affordably sell for 5 rupees in India.

And employees have played an important role in boosting the popularity of Kraft Foods’ products by adapting recipes to fit local consumers’ tastes, and improving foods’ nutritional profiles. For example, since 2010, advanced research has resulted in the removal of more than 6,125 metric tons (more than 13.5 million pounds) of salt from nearly 1,000 of its products in North America, without sacrificing taste, texture or product quality.

As Kraft Foods plans to divide into two independent public companies by the end of 2012, the company’s R&D team has a robust development pipeline that’s already delivered more than 70 new products in the past year.

Kraft Foods’ R&D team is institutionalizing its wealth of technical knowledge to ensure both companies will have world-class innovation organizations on day one after separation. Scientists, chemists and engineers are better directed by consumer insights than ever before. And they’re attuned to the company’s “glocal” approach to new product development by quickly adapting global technology platforms to local markets.

For additional information on Kraft Foods’ recent innovation investments around the world, including locations in Brazil, China, the Czech Republic, France, Mexico, Singapore, Switzerland, and the US, visit