Campbell debuts innovation web site

by Eric Schroeder
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CAMDEN, N.J. — The Campbell Soup Co. has launched "Campbell’s Ideas for Innovation," a new web site that encourages scientists, entrepreneurs and inventors to submit their ideas for new products, packaging innovation, product line extensions, environmental sustainability, business processes and marketing. The site may be accessed at www.campbellideas.com.

Campbell also said it is interested in new technologies related to sodium reduction, vegetable nutrition and healthier fats and oils.

"Campbell has had a solid track record for innovation in the categories in which we compete: soup and simple meals, baked snacks and healthy beverages," said Carl Johnson, chief strategy officer. "We are committed to improving our innovation results, and a key element in this improvement requires us to be open to ideas from both inside and outside the company. The Ideas for Innovation web site is one of the ways we are accessing innovation from outside sources."

The web site is designed to provide an effective way for Campbell to review and evaluate unsolicited ideas by offering people who do not work for the company an easy way to submit ideas. Once submitted, Campbell said the ideas will be evaluated by a team assembled for this purpose. Ideas will be reviewed and evaluated by someone with direct knowledge of the relevant business or function and who will determine whether there is an interest in pursuing the idea.

Several companies are opening up their doors to new ideas from the public. Minneapolis-based General Mills, Inc. has experienced positive response to its Worldwide Innovation Network (G-WIN) launched in 2007, a similar program to Campbell’s venture. As part of the program, General Mills has developed joint ventures, engaged in technology and equity licensing, sourced finished products, and worked to solve technical problems with experts applying concepts to further accelerate the company’s own internal innovation efforts. Several successful new products have come out of the program, including Progresso Light, Fiber One Chewy Bars and Yoplait Go-Gurt Fizzix.

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