Cutting-Edge Approaches That Help CPG Companies Keep Up With Changing Consumer Tastes
The consumer packaged goods industry has faced an onslaught of recent challenges — including calls for more transparent labeling and eco-friendly packaging — with food companies in particular forced to pivot rapidly in response to consumer preferences and legislation. Smaller, more agile companies have the upper hand, according to innovation experts Jonathan Tofel and Carolina Sasson. How can big companies keep up?
“Data shows that small to medium food companies are driving 45% of the growth in share in recent years,” Sasson said. “There are clear methodologies that can be harnessed and implemented in large companies with great success.”
In their new book, Fire in the Machine: Driving Entrepreneurial Innovation in Large CPG Organizations, Tofel and Sasson share insights on innovation gained from decades spent working with Fortune 500 companies such as Clorox, PepsiCo and Kellogg’s. They reveal the strategies that have helped their CPG clients harness the startup mindset with big business systems to unleash the best of both worlds.
“Innovators in large companies know that when it comes to creating and delivering products consumers love, size is on their side,” Tofel said. “The power of a Fortune 500 company allows it to leverage its resources to grow by developing new products that greatly enhance consumers’ lives.”
But big-company strength alone won’t cut it when it comes to innovation, explains Sasson.
“The sweet spot lies between large company capability and the entrepreneurial ethos underscoring successful startups,” she said. “This mix is the key to unlocking exponential growth and inspired innovation.”
Fire in the Machine offers an insightful journey into the challenges that all great innovators in large corporations face and shows leaders in these companies how to leverage new approaches and realize the growth possible when entrepreneurial innovation is in the driver’s seat.
About the Authors
For more than two decades, Jonathan Tofel, CEO of Mission Field, has been a consumer goods package entrepreneur at the forefront of innovation in Fortune 500 CPG companies. He has worked with clients in the United States, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia to develop thousands of unique product ideas. His clients have included a who’s who of CPGs, including PepsiCo Inc. (Frito-Lay, Quaker), Heineken, General Mills, Tropicana Brands Group and Kellogg’s.
As COO of Mission Field, Carolina Sasson helps Fortune 500 CPG clients kickstart their internal innovation processes from ideation and strategy design to prototype development and real-life battle testing — all with the entrepreneurial speed that often eludes large corporations. She has worked with some of the leading CPG companies in the world, including Clorox, Kraft-Heinz, Keurig Dr. Pepper, Danone and Ocean Spray.
Mission Field is a global innovation, strategy and insights consultancy that has been on the Inc. 5000 list, twice made the Financial Times The Americas’ Fastest Growing Companies and was designated a “Fast 50” high-growth company by the Denver Business Journal.