Since Henry Chesbrough coined the term in 2003, open innovation has been providing a framework for companies to tap a vast network of customers, experts, and other organizations. Companies such as Kraft, P&G, General Electric (GE), and Bosch have been using open innovation to source and develop outside concepts that spur disruptive innovation and help solve pressing challenges. Undeniably, open innovation has been a powerful tool for companies looking to boost innovation, but a lack in focus can sometimes lead to an overabundance of ideas that lack a connection to current business needs. Focus is certainly key as PG has proven with “…more than 35 percent of new products in market have elements that originated from outside P&G“.
Although open innovation was not a new concept at Kraft Foods, the company was looking to focus their open innovation efforts. Moving from a single private submission form where the public could freely submit any idea on anything with Innovate with Kraft (IWK), to a focused platform, the Kraft Foods Collaboration Kitchen (KFCK) is a major shift in their open innovation strategy. The new portal manages ideas from the public on new products, solutions and technologies with specific topics in mind predetermined internally. With KFCK, the company’s strategy focuses on solving specific needs or questions defined by Kraft employees, known as ‘briefs’, and inviting the public to contribute their ideas on those topics. KFCK is powered by Brightidea software which allows easy management and launch of numerous briefs while facilitating collaboration amongst users in an interactive online community. Kraft is expecting to release well over 70 different briefs over the next year across its different brands.
Big organizational changes have come to Kraft Foods over the past few years. In 2010 the company acquired the British confectionary company Cadbury and recently announced plans to split into two separate businesses, Kraft Foods Groceries and Mondelez International (a name crowdsourced internally in Kraft’s Brightidea-powered Idea Kitchen).Kraft continues its commitment to innovation with the launch of KFCK, which essentially combines Innovate with Kraft(IWK) Open innovation portal together with Cadbury’s Collaboration Factory under one roof.
With names like Oreo, Cadbury, and Jello-O, Kraft Foods houses some of the world’s best-known food brands. Want to bring your own flavor to the products you love? Now is your chance to bring your ideas to Kraft. If you are university student, technology person, innovator, or just someone with great ideas and new products or patents check out the Collaboration Kitchen to get involved!