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How open is food innovation? -The crispbread case

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British Food Journal ; Volume 121. p. 950–963. 2019

Grimsby, Sveinung; Kure, Cathrine F.

Purpose How does the cereal industry innovate in selective partnerships? The purpose of this paper is to study the cereal industry and the crispbread success in terms of how different forms of openness jointly shape new product development (NPD). Design/methodology/approach A multiphase mixed methods design was used to combine three sets of data: a case study, sales figures and interviews with ten major actors in the Norwegian cereal industry. Findings Transparency and interaction with machinery suppliers appear to result in a more successful type of innovation. In practice, companies are more open than, perhaps, they realise. Factors such as mutual trust, asset control and distribution are positive for openness in innovation processes with suppliers. Practical implications Future actors such as suppliers, producers, distributors and policy makers in the food industry will benefit from trust and an open innovation (OI) mind-set during NPD. Originality/value Prior to 2011, Norway had no large-scale commercial crispbread production. Six years later, Norwegian production nears the sales figures of the leading Swedish brand Wasa. Is this due to OI? Understanding various forms of selective partnership, collaboration and trust among actors in the food industry is valuable for future growth.

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