Miss our Fireside Chat at IFT First?
Check out our Recap Interview with our Innovation Manager, Ben Zirbel.
When it comes to the innovation process, where does someone typically start?
I think the innovation process typically starts with an idea! That idea can come from a variety of places. Sometimes it starts with our customers and sometimes it starts with us. Once the idea is decided there are a lot of things to consider, from product restrictions to price points, all of which play a factor in the final product. However, once those are decided then the exciting part comes. We start creating products! We work with our customers to make sure our product matches their expectations.
What benefits does a Working Session have?
The main one is the instant feedback while tasting samples. It is a real game changer to be in the same room and have both companies tasting the same sample. It creates an opportunity to our scientists to ask questions on the feedback and really drill down to exactly what the customer is looking for.
Quicker speed to market, grows customer partnership, allows time to start discussions about future projects, and allows for quick problem solving.
What does your dream working session look like?
I don’t really have a “dream working session” and the reason for that is simple. They are not about me. Our working sessions are about our customers and helping them reach their dreams for that product. What I can tell you is our goal for a working session is always for the customer to leave happy and with a final formula to take back and show their team that they really believe in.
How does Revela Foods
collaborate with customers?
- We collaborate with our customers in a variety of ways: phone calls, Microsoft Teams calls, and e-mails but our favorite is our working sessions!
- In our working sessions customers come into our innovation center and work with our scientists to create the best product we can. During this time, we can discuss trends and future products as well, but the most important part is the direct line of communication it creates when tasting products.
Everyone tasting the same thing and the same time is extremely valuable and not only gets everyone to the desired outcome, but it gets us there MONTHS faster than sending samples and waiting for feedback. It is a process that creates a great product and the opportunity to grow a great partnership between our company and theirs.
What is the Revela difference?
The Revela difference is our people. I am blessed to work with a team that is not only talented but is in love with food and all its processes. They get excited about their projects and are just as excited to see them succeed as our customers are. They are foodies through and through and are always looking for their next food experience.
How can other companies expedite their product development?
I think the easiest way for companies to expedite their product development is to use Revela as an extension of their own R&D team.
We are always happy to work on a project regardless of which stage it is in. Also, by having upfront discussions with us we can have a clear understanding of the objectives and goals for that project.
We do everything from blue sky innovation to matching and cost reductions. In addition to our R&D team we have a very strong regulatory team that can help any customer navigate the many restrictions that can be found in the food category today.
What is the most innovative thing that a company can do right now to keep up with this fast-paced industry?
I think the best thing companies can do is to be flexible and capitalize on trends when they are hot.
At Revela we have a 3rd party trend service that tracks product launches and trends that are going on. By using us our customers also can get this information and can then ideate around those trends to launch a product that consumers are looking for and craving.