“Today Norway’s exports of crispbread are worth more than our imports from Sweden 10 years ago,” says senior scientist Sveinung Grimsby. PHOTO: JON-ARE BERG-JACOBSEN

Project Year 2017

Crispbread – a Norwegian success

 Food and health  

In recent years, exports of fancier, "home-made" Norwegian crispbread have skyrocketed.

From just under NOK 20 million in 2014, exports have risen to almost NOK 100 million in 2017.

It is the fancier, more exclusive varieties that have experienced the greatest increase in demand. Sales volumes of Norwegian crispbread have only increased by a quarter, while sales value has doubled.

Open innovation

Senior adviser Sveinung Grimsby at Nofima has studied innovation in the Norwegian grain industry. In a nutshell, the success is due to greater willingness to pay and open innovation.

“Prior to 2012, there was no industrial production of crispbread in Norway. In 2011 the project Open Innovation Cereal was concluded, the purpose of which was to foster new ideas and explore the industry’s opportunities. 17 ideas were presented to the industry,” says Grimsby.

Six years later, several of the ideas have become products. Crispbread is by far the most successful.

“I have investigated whether there is any link between success and openness and interaction in innovation processes,” Sveinung Grimsby says.

Healthy crispbread that doesn’t crumble

His research shows that the businesses interact and are more open in practice than they often are aware of, and this is good for innovation. However, a number of factors must be present for businesses to open up.

“The companies must trust each other, they should be roughly the same size, and ideally they should not be competing for the same customers,” the scientist says.

One insight shared in 2012 was that people do not eat crispbread in their cars because they leave crumbs in the seats. Another was the potential of marketing crispbread as a healthy snack. Based on this, several manufacturers have succeeded in producing tasty “home-made” crispbread that doesn’t crumble, which they market as a healthy snack.

The Foundation for Research Levy on Agricultural Products (FFL)

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