Pascal Xavier Van de Goor

Pascal Xavier Van de Goor, Business Development Manager at Foodpairing®

It’s no secret that millennials consume differently than their parents. We’re reaching a new normal with orders of the like of “Hi, I’d like a zero sugar, fat-, lactose- and gluten free, mocha-choca-vodka latté”. They don’t even ask whether or not such an order is possible, they expect it to be.

SIGnals asked FCMG expert Pascal Xavier Van de Goor, Business Development Manager at food tech company Foodpairing®, to share his personal experiences with us:


“I’m not losing share to P&G and other CPG companies. I’m losing it to small players who are finding niche products.”
Shawn O’Neal, Unilever VP Global Marketing & Data Analytics

The speed of taste poses a great threat for large FMCG’s, they can’t keep up. The “innovation” mindset and tools of yesterday are insufficient today. There have never been so many product launches, the success rate has never been so low, and the market share of large FMCG’s is slinking. One solution is to acquire the (once) small players who are agile enough to take the market by storm. Another is to launch a venture capital unit. But what is ultimately needed is an approach to New Product Development (NPD) that is fundamentally different.

What’s happening with new product development?

Since 2011 Kind Snacks has taken 12 per cent share of the US snack bar market. Over the same period, Kellogg’s share has fallen from 30 to 20 per cent, according to Bernstein (Financial Times, 29th January 2017).

The good news is that they’re aware of what’s happening. Just look at the number of FMCG related job openings with innovation in the title. And if you, dear reader, work at a major FMCG company you’ve most likely had a restructuring last 12 months that is in one way or another related to innovation. The other news is that they keep struggling to find the best approach and insights to give them a new drive.

Mondelez understood a revolution was needed. So they’ve started by setting up a team of which the members have no previous experience in food & beverage and work independently from the other departments to launch 3-4 products per year.

What should happen with New Product Development?

“We’re seeing over and over again that people are using big data to do customer analysis, pattern-matching analysis, and customer targeting. That really does produce extra insight and that extra insight is worth billions and billions.” – Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Alphabet

Gill Horsky, Global Innovation Platform Leader at Mondelez, told the audience at Food Vision 2017 “get out to see and hear your customers”. I applaud every company to get closer to its base. But how can you get even closer to get to know what they’ll crave for tomorrow?

There are many approaches on how to adapt to the changing market. But whatever the approach large FMCG’s chose, what is certain is that it must involve online consumer behavior data, a lot of it. Every day you see examples of how we have embraced on online data based innovation but in the food & beverage sector this adoption is unfortunately still in its baby steps. It’s too comfortable to do what you’ve always done and rely on the input of 20 people for your 20 million product launch or a multiple of that and still fail.

Large FMCG’s need to realise they need new, better, deeper, and (more importantly) forward looking insights. And someone who can make sense of the ocean of data. Having the right data is power and increases the speed and sophistication of your actions. At Foodpairing we do this by combining scientific flavor insights with consumer behavior insights and tailor the output to the brand and product. Our Consumer Flavor Intelligence can tell you what variation of “a zero sugar, fat- and gluten free, mocha-choca-vodka latté” to launch next, when and where.

In a nutshell: embrace data science

“Last year we barely involved data in our NPD. In a panic move we now find ourselves with so much data we don’t know what to do.” – Confession of an innovation managerPanels, trend reports, intuition… they’ve long served their purpose. Data science driven empowered new product development is becoming the new norm. And for large FMCG’s: tick tock…”


Do you want to know more about Foodpairing® or our solutions for new business? Write us an email, leave a comment or give us a call.


Posted by SIGnals

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