KernPack joins forces with University of Portsmouth’s packaging experts

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New research aims to help food manufacturers improve links between process and product innovation.Portsmouth Business School_2

KernPack has announced a new research partnership with University of Portsmouth Business School, to help food manufacturers better understand the benefits of developing a closer relationship between their process and product innovation. KernPack is sponsoring the University’s Product Innovation Research Group to conduct a two-year research study, examining how investments in the production process can impact on the development of new products.

“The study has been designed to reveal more about the benefits of investing in production line machinery for food brands, including how it can help develop new products or reduce time-to-market,” explained Dr. Chris Simms, Head of Product Innovation Research Group, University of Portsmouth. “While the advantages are known to exist, not much research has been carried out in this area, let alone in the food industry. The research aims to uncover how the benefits work and how they can be implemented.”

All types of food manufacturer will be examined by the research, from artisan start-ups to major, established brands. The findings are expected to help food manufacturers spot opportunities where they can benefit from investing in their production lines.

“Many food manufacturers are missing out on business opportunities by not examining their established production processes, some of which may have been in place for more than 20 years,” said Chris. “The nature of the industry means the focus is mostly on high efficiency, high volumes and low cost, rather than looking for ways to introduce product innovation. We hope the results of the research will help change this mindset and enable more brands to uncover ways of developing new, attractive products.”

One example of a fruitful relationship between process and product innovation was the Guinness widget. The fixed widget in a can led to a widget in a bottle and subsequently a floating widget in a can. Through this continual investment in process and product innovation, Guinness was able to increase sales as it improved the quality of the product. This is the type of innovation the research will be examining.

“KernPack is delighted to be linking up with the University of Portsmouth Business School to help try and define some of the lesser-known benefits of investing in production lines, and ultimately help UK food manufacturers grow their business,” commented Pete Jolley, General Manager of KernPack.

About University of Portsmouth Business School

Portsmouth Business School is a large, vibrant and successful business school offering a full range of degree programmes. Its academic strength drives original and proactive business thinking, empowering its people to challenge conventional wisdom in a truly unique academic environment. Research at Portsmouth Business School (PBS) is flourishing, as is the strength and breadth of the research collaborations the faculty is engaged in. PBS undertakes wide-ranging research in all the major business disciplines.

The Product Innovation Research Group brings together the exceptional skill set and expertise of a multidisciplinary group of researchers from the University of Portsmouth Business School. This ranges from innovation and product development, to marketing, entrepreneurship and accounting.
The group was formed to perform pioneering research – empirical, theoretical, collaborative and practical – in both established and emerging domains.
The key aim of the group is to achieve research excellence in Innovation and Product Development fields, and enhance the knowledge transfer activities to deepen our relationships between business and public organisations.

Examples of current key areas of special interest include:
• The development of new packaging for FMCG products
• Business model innovation within food retailing
• Manufacturing process innovation and its links to product innovation
• Linkages between the supply chain, new product development and adoption

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