Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Global Innovation and Quality Center

In a 2007 Social Responsibility report that, Heinz established that it would like to do four things to protect our environment:

- Reduce waste through packaging innovation and recycling
- Conserving water
- Improving energy efficiency
- Lowering green house gas emissions.

In addition, Heinz has also been one or the top companies to contribute to sustainable agriculture. (Source: Business Wire) These were just some of the factors that has made The Global Innovation and Quality Center successful for Heinz.

Two years ago, the Heinz, the food maker, decided to open an innovation center in Warrendale, Pennsylvania. This Global Innovation and Quality Center would be the root of its new goals in order to stay a top competitor in the food industry.

Heinz’s major goal was and still is product innovation. This innovation center was built to do nothing but innovate, both for Heinz’s business in the United States but also globally. It houses a place for focus groups, places to test taste and textures in food labs, places to simulate packaging options and a supermarket stocked with Heinz products alongside the products of tis competitors. With all the experimentation in one spot, Heinz reduces cost by innovating for the entire globe. Heinz pledged two years ago that for the next five years they would contribute $100 million to product innovation. Here, 200 workers such as food scientists, chefs, engineers, packaging designers and quality assurance specialists work together to bring new, locally influenced products to the market across the globe.

This has been successful, because along with product innovation and a 16% increase in marketing spends; it is believed that Heinz can produce a 9 – 10% growth per share this fiscal year. Jimmy E. Matthews, the Vice President of Innovation and Quality, states that the success rates of product launches since the innovation center opened has doubled, from 40% to 95%. (source: The Courier Journal)

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