Confectionery Innovation Forum 2016

Outside the candy box: Five sources of confectionery NPD inspiration

By Oliver Nieburg

- Last updated on GMT

Untapped sources of inspiration for confectionery products: packaging design sites and social networks. ©iStock/vicnt
Untapped sources of inspiration for confectionery products: packaging design sites and social networks. ©iStock/vicnt

Related tags Confectionery Chewing gum Candy Mintel Tyler merrick

Project7 CEO Tyler Merrick and Mintel’s director of insights Marcia Mogelonsky pinpoint the websites and places to watch for new product development inspiration.

The pair spoke at ConfectioneryNews inaugural Confectionery Innovation forum last week – which is available on demand for the next three months – see HERE​ for details.

1. Foodily

Marcia Mogelonsky, director of insight at Mintel, recommends the website Foodily​, which she describes as “the Facebook for food”.

“There is no discussion, there is no happy puppies and dogs, there’s no political commentary, all there is is food. And seeing what is going on in food every day is really a way I see what the trends are going to be in confectionery,” she says.

Foodily claims to be the world’s largest recipe search engine and allows users to create, collect and share recipes.

Mogelonsky advises R&D teams to closely track dessert trends for NPD stimulus.

US gum firm Project7 and Lebanese firm Master Chewing Gum & Candies have recently enjoyed success with birthday cake flavor gums, while Wrigley launched its Extra Dessert Delights line in 2010 with flavors such as Key Lime Pie and Strawberry Cheesecake.

2. The Dieline

Tyler Merrick, founder and CEO of Project7, draws inspiration from branding and packaging design website The Dieline.

“You can go on and see concept brands and new brands coming out. In the spirits category, they are very fun,” ​he says, adding that great ideas can be found in other categories, particularly in craft beer.

The Dieline was founded in 2007 by graphic designer Andrew Gibbs, who previously designed products for companies such as Jelly Belly and the retailer Target.

3. Instagram

Both of our webinar panelists recommend photo sharing social network Instagram.

Merrick said the site was helpful for new ideas, but also provided invaluable comment on existing products.

“It’s hard to beat that real-time customer feedback and to see people talk about your brand – what they like about it and what they don’t like about it,” ​he says.

“That’s the beauty and the curse of social, people want to post out what they are doing and kind of brag about it … so you get to see some of those new things that even if you don't go and visit, it brings it to the forefront of your mind.”

4. Pinterest

Mintel’s Mogelonsky says: “I’m hooked on Pinterest, which is a wonderful way to find out what people are thinking.”

Pinterest users can track specific categories such as ‘chocolate’ and ‘candy’, as well as niche areas such as ‘Japanese candy’ and ‘food packaging design’.

The site will create a unique homepage for the user, where they can view images of of their chosen topics.

5. Restaurants and food halls

Project7’s CEO says he always makes time to eat at creative restaurants when away on business.

“I’ll try to visit a couple of fun restaurants to see what’s going on and a couple of stores and it gives me a good feel for some trends that might be coming,” ​he says.

Mogelonsky adds that visiting food halls and retailers in other countries can inspire new confectionery concepts.

Chef Jurgen Koens, who acts as a technical adviser to Barry Callebaut, previously told us​ the world’s best restaurants are ones to watch because they will set flavor and texture trends that will eventually migrate into consumer packaged food. 

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