Creating value throughout the value chain

Insight into global food trends and knowledge about consumers, the food and its components are important factors for success in innovation in the blue and green sectors.

Currently only one in ten innovations is successful. It is important to reduce the risk, and the key to risk reduction is knowledge.

“Running innovation processes based on our research expertise is fully in line with how we wish to contribute to competitive Norwegian industry,” explains Nofima’s CEO Øyvind Fylling-Jensen.

Great need for open and research-based innovation
The value of good networks is enormous. Open innovation processes with close collaboration and dialogue improve the conditions for success. Over the last few years, Nofima has led major innovation processes for several industries in both the blue and green sectors.

  • The grain industry is focusing on value creation through open innovation.
  • The fishery and aquaculture industry wishes to develop new main course dishes with frozen peeled prawns.
  • It is the goal of Norwegian seafood companies to create profitable and lasting competitive advantages through both new fish concepts for the grocery trade and new business ideas for more seafood in the fast food market.
  • The InnovaFish project has developed a new concept for fish in the catering sector. Low-price pieces of fish are put together into one piece using new technology and presented garnished with vegetables. Consumer surveys carried out for this type of dish in canteens in both Norway and Sweden indicate that the consumers want them.

“We are also just at the start-up phase of a value chain project for the meat industry focusing on technological innovation. We believe that such a project will open up opportunities for value creation in the meat industry,” says Gunhild A. Dalen, Director of Communication and Product Development at Nofima.

Focusing on consumers
While most traditional innovation concerns itself with product development, it is seldom this part that gives the greatest financial gains. The biggest opportunities are usually found in the business model.

“It’s important to have clear goals – and to base what you do on consumer needs,” says Hilde Skotland Mortvedt, Strategic Programme Manager for Innovation at Nofima. “If you start by looking for the answer to the question Why is there a need rather than What is the product idea, you move the focus from traditional product development to innovation in several dimensions. We find that the greatest value creation is linked to innovation in other dimensions, such as new networks, new service concepts and new business models.”

Value creation in the grain industry through open innovation
Tough competition from foreign companies is increasing the need for innovation in the Norwegian grain industry. The aim of the open innovation project led by adviser Camilla Grefsli of Nofima was to develop specific business opportunities. Observation studies and interviews, both in Norway and abroad, have been used to gain insight, which in turn inspires many ideas.

The ten business opportunities identified are: bread straight from work, delicatessen/bakery, bake talk, brittle bread, the school lunch-box, DIY breakfast kit, DIY cake kit, cake gifts, bucket dough and bakery automat. You can read more about the project.

New prawn products for the Norwegian marketNorwegian consumers like to buy frozen peeled scampi to serve for dinner. Norwegian frozen peeled prawns, on the other hand, are more difficult to obtain. The industry wants to do something about this. Scientist Morten Heide of Nofima has led a project to develop new main course dishes in which frozen peeled Norwegian prawns are an important ingredient.

“This is a product that Norwegian consumers are not very familiar with,” says Heide, “so it is important to investigate how consumers will perceive frozen peeled prawns as a product for various applications. We have developed recipes and tried out prawn main course dishes on consumers, and then chose the dishes that had the most potential. The products have now been launched in Norwegian supermarkets, with recipes on the pack and in recipe booklets.” Heide adds that much more information will be available when the project is concluded in May.

New fish concepts for the supermarket sector
Both the seafood industry and the Directorate of Health would like us to eat more seafood. Consumers want fast, easy ready meals that taste good, as well as exciting, sophisticated and diverse eating experiences.

“Working from consumer insight and an understanding of the customer, our goal in this project was to develop new product concepts and business opportunities that people in the industry want to realise. A better selection of attractive fish dishes in the supermarkets could increase people’s consumption of fish and improve profits for the industry,” says project manager and Nofima researcher Jorunn S. Hansen.

Nine new business opportunities have been developed: fish counter, gourmet fish farce, fish soup kit, fish as sandwich spread, BBQ fish, Friday fish dinner, grand cru, the treasure chest and Arctic adventure. You can read more about the project and business opportunities.

Ten ideas for more seafood in the fast food market
In the fast food business, seafood dishes are few and far between. Using observation studies of consumers on the move, the project group, led by adviser Britt Signe Granli at Nofima in Ås, gained insight and platforms that could form the basis for generating ideas.

They came up with the following ten concept ideas: autowraps, good for the kids in the car, the red lobster, finger seafood, soup on a stick, eat fish day, one-handed fish cakes, the fridge post box, fish on wheels and fish in a flash.

“Nofima’s innovation process, which we developed in house, has been used in the cereal project and the seafood projects as a method for developing new business opportunities. We have also used our working model in pure assignment projects for the industry,” says Hilde Skotland Mortvedt.

Global events affect the Norwegian food industry
“Raw materials prices, the environment, a shift of power in the value chains and the focus on health are some of today’s challenges and trends,” says Øyvind Fylling-Jensen. “The fact that Norwegian raw materials are natural, healthy and safe provides both national and international opportunities. But that also demands new thinking – and the possibility of success is far greater when innovation is opened up.”

He concludes by praising the Fishery and Aquaculture Industry Research Fund and the Foundation for Research Levy on Agricultural Products, which have financed the projects in the blue and green sectors respectively. It is of great significance that these funds see the value of focusing on open innovation, so as to demonstrate the opportunities for the industry in the future.

Consumer and sensory sciences  

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