May 15, 2024 / 1:04:02

Episode Description

In our second episode this series the focus is all about innovation. I was delighted to chat with Sarah Munday, European Head of Research and Development at Innocent Drinks and Rachel Chatterton, Head of Food and Beverage Development at Holland and Barrett.

Sarah has over 25 years of experience working in the food and drink industry, specifically focusing on new product development and innovation. She has made a career out of bringing household names to market working for companies such as Hain Daniels Group, Mizkan and now Innocent Drinks.

Rachel brings years of experience launching market leading new product development with nationally and globally recognised brands such as Starbucks, Gousto and Marks and Spencer. She now works with Holland and Barrett to lead their food and beverage development strategy.

In this episode, we focus on innovation. Through the conversation we discuss the importance of timing in new product development, the impact food security is having on the market and how AI and data are influencing the innovation process.

We also cover the biggest threats to innovation right now, what the upcoming trends in the food and drink industry are and how you should approach failure.

I hope you like this episode and, as ever, if you’d like to get in touch for any reason you can reach me at Jonathan.ohagan@leaderexecutivesearch.com

Enjoy!

Episode Transcript

Jonathan O’Hagan  00:24

[Music] Hello! And welcome to the Leader Insights Series Podcast. This is the platform designed to uncover the secrets to both career and business success, gaining real insight from inspirational figures across the food and drink industry.

 

[Music] As a reminder, I’m your host, Jonathan O’Hagan. And today, we’re going to be talking innovation, and I’m delighted to be joined by two experts in their field, two people, I’ve known for a number of years. In many ways, they need no introduction, but let me give you an introduction. Anyway.

 

First of all, we have the lovely Sarah Munday. Now, Sarah is currently the head of future development at Innocent Drinks. Innocent drinks obviously, you’ll be familiar with, an iconic Brand and amazing company. But Sarah’s got a very prestigious background when it comes to R&D in innovation. Having worked for people like Mizkan, Hayne Daniel’s group. She’s got a really good pedigree in NPD in innovation, bringing products to market that will be household names and brands and products we’re all familiar with.

 

The other guests, I’m delighted to be joined by is Rachel Chatterton. Rachel is the head of food and beverage development at Holland and Barrett, been there a couple of years and again, Rachel’s got a really impressive background. She’s worked for retailers such as Marks and Spencer, Starbucks, Sainsbury’s and Early Career. So, the dynamic between Rachel and Sarah, I think, is a really interesting one. One between supplier and retailer. But yeah, we have a really interesting conversation about innovation. We cover a lot of ground, we talk about a number of different things from timing, to process, to short-term fads. We talk about health washing, there’s a lot of ground covered.

 

So, I really hope you enjoy this episode. As always, subscribe to the Podcast, if you’ve not done so already. You’ll get notified of all future guests, we have some more guests, great guests lined up in the coming episodes, working very hard to keep these topics very relevant and up-to-date. So, please subscribe. And here we go. I hope you enjoy the episode. Here’s Let’s Talk: Innovation.

 

[Music]

Rachel, Sarah, it’s an absolute pleasure to have you on. Welcome to this episode, which is titled “Let’s Talk Innovation.” Sarah, I’ll come to you first, what does innovation mean to you, first of all?

 

Sarah Munday  02:50

Innovation, it can mean so much. There’s so many different aspects to it. But really, for me, it’s around creating those new ideas, new solutions to problems that consumers have. And in my world that might be a new drink or a new product. But it’s also new packaging, new ways of showing up, new ways that people can kind of access it, but really honed in to kind of consumer insight and that real problem solving that sometimes consumers don’t always know, that they have that problem that they need solving.

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  03:25

So, almost predicting before they know what they want or need.

 

Sarah Munday  03:30

There is a lot of that. There’s a lot of kind of trying to understand patterns of behavior, what consumers are doing. And at the end of the day, we’re all consumers as well, just looking at kind of things that we do, our friends and our family do and go. How can we make that easier or more convenient, and fill in some of those gaps that are kind of there, but not necessarily totally visible to the regular consumers, and just creating exciting products that just make people happy and just make life that little bit easier.

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  04:01

And Rachel, so question to you, what does Innovation mean to you?

 

Rachel Chatterton  04:04

Brilliant description there, to be honest. I think, you raise a really good point that it’s not always what people know they need. I think, it’s the latest and greatest that people haven’t seen or had before, but has a connection to where their life is, what they’re doing, and what their problems are. So, it’s foreseeing those problems through the art of creating brilliant products. So, it’s a real blend of something that is accessible and obtainable enough, that’s exciting for people. But it’s aspirational enough to get somebody to try something. So, it’s that real fine balance of when something, and I’m sure, we’ll probably come on to talk about it in a little bit, but where something isn’t a fad, it actually becomes a trend and therefore it’s worthy of creating a brilliant product around it.

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  04:53

And Rachel working for a business like Holland and Barrett, are you a fan of first to market?

 

Rachel Chatterton  04:59

Oh hugely, absolutely.

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  05:02

Because there’s that argument isn’t there, if you know, almost refine and make something better. But yes, you’re a fan of being first to market.

 

Rachel Chatterton  05:10

Oh, hugely. I mean, personally, it’s the reason, I get out of bed is to do first to market. Because actually, I don’t know, that’s huge motivation is to understand customers reaction to something, that is first to market. I think, copying with pride is like what a lot of people do in the market. And there’s nothing wrong with it in any way, shape, or form. But I would say, it’s less on the true innovation side to do that.

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  05:35

And Sarah, you, as I mentioned in the intro, you work for Innocent Drinks. So, recognisable, so innovative and iconic brand. Talk me through, you know, what’s unique about the way Innocent innovates?

 

Sarah Munday  05:47

I think, what’s unique about Innocent is, I think, just leading on from what Rachel was saying, is we have tried to be first market, we actually celebrated our 25th birthday this week. So, for the last 25 years Innocent have been present and trying to bring the kind of healthy goodness of fruit and veg into people. And fruit and veg isn’t always the most glamorous thing that people think of. And I think, going back to, we’ve always tried to make it convenient, fun, and have accessible products to our consumers. And really how we do it in Innocent is really listening to what is it to our consumers need. Where are there, those gaps in the market? And where is it that the Innocent Brand can show up?

 

You know, we do a lot around kind of responsible sourcing, we’re not just about, let’s put some juice in a bottle, it’s where does it come from, in terms of our ingredients? Are we doing the right thing for our farmers as well as processing and making sure everything is made in the right way? But also something that’s really important to understand is, we reflect back on what hasn’t worked. So, we’ve got, you know, 25 years of innovation, and we actually have a wall in our head office, we call it heaven.

 

So, where our products, unfortunately, go off to heaven. But what that reminds us of is, to go and reflect back on what has worked in the past? How do we need to kind of focus and where do we need to kind of rebuild on certain things that are not right for our consumers, or it wasn’t quite the right time for us to do that. And we have such an extensive group of people that work at Innocent to help bring all of that kind of consumer insight together, as well as a great group of product and packaging developers to really bring that to life and validate that with our consumers so that we can try and be kind of first to market with some of these great products.

 

You know, ‘Bolt from the blue’ is one that everybody kind of remembers of the first blue drink that really came to market and really kind of is quite disruptive in that category. And we keep striving to do that as how do we have that point of difference?

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  07:47

Really interesting. And I’m sure we’re going to go on to talk about timing, but from that wall that you mentioned, is there products that were great products, but maybe just not the right time. And you’ve re-visited it later down the line?

 

Sarah Munday  08:00

Definitely, I think, not just only Innocent, but also other companies that I’ve worked for, as well, there’s timing is everything. And I think, you know, there are some things, where you’ve tried to make the product as perfect as possible. And you’ve spent a lot of time and actually, it wasn’t quite executed in the right way or consumers just weren’t ready for that part of the journey. And in previous companies, I’ve seen product that I’ve launched, it hasn’t been successful.

 

You know, only one in 10 innovations will actually stay in the marketplace. So, there is this constant term. And then, you see a very similar product fly off the shelves, two or three years later, because it’s just the right timing for consumers. It’s the right stage in their life. They’re all on the journey. And that’s when the mass appeal hits. So, there’s definitely things we always look back on and say actually, should we bring that out again? Or do we bring it out and update it, but there are some important learnings in our past. And I think, it’s important to reflect on that. And our wall reminds us of some of those things.

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  08:57

It must be so frustrating when you’ve got a great product, that you feel is going to be beneficial to a consumer. And that timing thing is just not right. And yeah, it must be so frustrating to think, I know this is right. I know it’s what consumers will need. But maybe, you’re just a few years ahead of your time, so to speak, you must have to have a lot of patience as well, I guess, to think like, we’ll put this to one side, we’ll re-visit it in future years.

 

Sarah Munday  09:22

100%. And I think, what’s really challenging sometimes is the development. And I know, we’re talking a little bit about timings, now. The development process for some things is often years in the making. And I think, people don’t necessarily realize that for brand new breakthrough innovation and technology, sometimes you’re talking a decade of work that’s happened previously to just get to the point, where you’ve got something that’s really commercially viable for consumers.

 

And I think, when we’re looking at products, you can just be slightly out on that timing. You can either weather that storm and go on, no we’ll keep going or you make that conscious business decision to pull back and then maybe re-launch it at a slightly different date. But I think, you learn quite quickly through working in the industry for quite a while that you ride these highs and lows with it. At the end of the day, it’s always fantastic to see products that you’ve been involved with, on the shelves, people enjoying them. And particularly, now-a-days you get such instant feedback through, you know, Social Media and things like that, you can really learn very quickly and if you need to make changes you can do.

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  10:28

And Rachel, you’ve worked for some fantastic businesses Sainsbury’s, M&S, just to mention a few. So, same question to you really around, what’s unique about how Holland and Barrett innovate?

 

Rachel Chatterton  10:40

So, it’s definitely been completely different to any other of my prior companies, but in a very brilliant way. So, it’s 153 year old brand. And it really resonates quite a lot, what Sarah was just saying, about often being too far ahead of the curve. And actually, they were the first retailer to launch vegan food, the first retailers to launch non-alcoholic drinks. And actually, it was just far too soon.

 

And actually, now we’re kind of on a level of catch-up with the transformation, that is undergoing at this moment in time. And we’re sort of a third of the way through, I guess, in terms of how we’re going to transform this very unique health and wellness brand. But I guess the biggest thing that’s different about innovating at H&B is, really is all science backing. So, we really want to be an evidence-based retailer.

 

And actually, when you’re playing in the health space, we owe it to our customers that products must work and wow is the sentence we use. And there’s a lot of spurious claims all over the market, I think, you know, we talked about green washing, but health washing is the other side to that. And actually, what we must stand true to is that any H&B product must do exactly what we’re telling it to do. So, having efficacious doses using evidence-based ingredients at the right levels, to really demystify health customers, because it’s complicated. There’s ingredients that people haven’t heard of. But also we’re dealing with a nation that’s full of health problems, real challenging times getting access to the NHS. So, we now play such a vital role with sort of 800 stores across the UK, to provide a center of excellence for products that people can really just pick up and understand easily from the packaging, what it’s going to do, how it’s going to help them. So, we really owe it to them. So, actually, there’s an awful lot more rigor around the R&D in the ingredients we use.

 

So, back to your former point, Jonathan about sort of, is it a copy and paste? Actually, no, it’s got to be first to market because a lot of these ingredients are still emerging and different solutions to health are coming out every single day. And our role really is to bring those to market in a really simple, clear, easily digestible and non-scary way.

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  12:53

I love that whole evidence backed thing though. Sarah, you mentioned about Social Media and feedback. There’s so many fads and latest things, supplements, call it what you will, we’re all susceptible to wanting more energy to sleep better, to be sharper, more focus, the list goes on. And it’s so easy to whether it’s placebo, sort of convinced yourself. So, I guess that more. Yes, science, rigor, evidence backs must build huge amounts of trust with customers. So, it’s that circle, which is going to be good for business, right.

 

Rachel Chatterton  13:25

100%. And trusts, exactly what people do have. And it’s why our brand is thriving, and it’s still existing after 153 years. So, real British brand founded in Bishop’s Stortford, would you believe we actually were founded as a food and clothing retailer, would you believe, and actually, we then quickly evolved in the 1920s, to become a supplement business and have kind of evolved from there. So, we’ve got a very strong foundation. But that brings a huge amount of weight with it, that we owe our customers that trust. And we have to stand by that. So, we invest very significantly in that store teams that we have, and we have a qualified to advise program.

 

And that’s a real good initiative to bring products to life, because it’s one of the key challenges with innovation is, you’ve got so many messages to tell people, but you’ve got a tiny label, and you rely on a customer to read that. And actually, so many people don’t have any time to barely be buying their food, let alone reading the labels and the back of pack. So, actually having a store Colleague Team that are trained in all of our products, really helps to help advise our customers on what’s right for them because health is such a personal choice.

 

Jonathan  O’Hagan  14:33

Then Rachel, how do you go about measuring innovation success? You know, is it as simple as a pure financial metric bottom line, how do you measure whether something’s a success?

 

Rachel Chatterton  14:45

Gosh, this is, I think, different for every single business when you’re looking at innovation really, depending on what the role of innovation is, within the particular company. I think, you’re always going to have you know, we’re all here to drive revenue and profit for a business. So, there is always going to be financial targets around sales, sales hurdle rates, etc. But there are always going to be products that are in the mix. And they might be for particular brand reasons. So, is that the kind of a signal of the direction, we’re going in the future, and therefore, we’re going to have that innovation out there to really emote that we are true innovators in the market and offering something new, you might have some loss leaders that actually are just there, from a volume perspective to drive customers through the door every day.

 

There’s different roles for different seasons even, so I wouldn’t say, it’s a very clear defined list of what makes something successful. I think, customer’s loyalty is a huge one. So, even though it might not be a big seller, actually, knowing you can come and get something, somewhere is incredibly important to customers. So, there will be those products that we hang on to for those reasons.

 

Jonathan  O’Hagan  15:53

And I suspect some of this is going to be in the data, good old data that seems to consume our lives. And I know, we’re going to talk about data later on. But I suppose same question to you, Sarah, coming more from a supplier or manufacturing environment. How do you measure success, again, is it purely and simply bottom line driven?

 

Sarah Munday  16:11

I think very similar to Rachel, you know, we’re a business at the end of the day. And we do need to generate some military value within the products to show that but that’s not the only thing it can drive. So, obviously, being quite a well-known Brand, that kind of Brand awareness piece as well is really important, not just for medicine, but also for us. We talk a lot about fruit and veg, and actually just getting people to be more aware of, where fruit and veg comes from, the different types and things like that. It’s also a kind of a softer measure of you know, are we being successful with what we want to do that. As Rachel said, lots of products do lots of different jobs within that, you know, there’s being first to market, starting to emerge into different categories. There’s also looking at, you know, what are your big sellers? And what are your big kind of key volume drivers and things like that. But overall, measuring the success is a range of different metrics that we pulled together, across the board. And I guess with that…

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  17:15

Category approach, you know, you mentioned fruit and veg, is it a case that sometimes, if your competitors win, you also win as well, a little bit because it elevates the category, brings more attention to a category, especially if it’s maybe a new category or emerging one? Do you have that mentality rather than – “Oh Christ, we’re not first to market, we’ve missed that”. There’s actually an element of everyone win sometimes?

 

Sarah Munday  17:37

Yes, there’s, you know, we always want to grow the size of the category, and we want shoppers to come down particularly, we’re predominant in the chilled aisle, we want more shoppers to come down there and look at our products and pick them up. Sometimes other companies beat you to, first to market. But if there’s other things that we can do to be point of difference and educate people, I think, we try and be a business, that’s just beyond being the physical product that’s on shelf. There’s a lot of other things that we do, you know, being a B-Corp is really important to us, and all the good work that we do within that. And as I mentioned earlier about our sustainability, looking at all the work that we do with our farmers, we have something called a farmer Innovation Fund, where we’re actually looking at how do we innovate in our supply chain? And how can we work with those two things might be helping reduce waste, improving crop yield, looking at different varieties, lots of different things that we’re investing in, that then can help us have better products in the future. So, I think for Innocent, we’re not just about the juice, or the smoothie, or the liquid in the bottle. There’s a whole lot of other things around it, that are unique to us Vs some of our competitors. But to drive people footfall into the aisle, I think we’re happy to get support from wherever that might be.

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  18:55

Brilliant. Now, I’m going to put you both under a bit of pressure here. But I know, you’ll enjoy it, you’ll rise to the challenge. Rachel, I’ll come to you first, what are the biggest trends driving food and beverage right now? And what can we expect to see on our shelves in the coming years?

 

Rachel Chatterton  19:11

Overall, in the industry, or specifically in my field?

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  19:15

Well, it probably be unfair for me to talk broadly about the industry, but have a go, if you want to, I suppose thinking about your area. Yes, what can we expect to see. But if you want to have a stab more broadly, feel free?

 

Rachel Chatterton  19:29

Well, I think, we launch Trends Report every year, which is a huge part of what we do at H&B. And you do in any innovation role, but I guess, the biggest things really is, I mean overarchingly health and wellness is hugely important to customers, and it’s only going to get more important. I know, I’ve touched on the fact that people are having real challenges accessing the NHS but actually looking for preventative health is probably one of the biggest trends so, it’s preventative health instead. So, actually thinking about health a lot earlier on in your lifespan to ensure that you’re adding quality years to life, actually, because the sad truth is that so many people are spending a large proportion of their lives in ill health.

 

So, actually thinking really about the role of health within your 20s and 30s, to ensure that your 60s and your 70s are a lot nicer. And within that, I think we’re going to see an awful, lot of trends regarding whether that be brain health, whether that be eye health, whether that be cognitive health, I think, we’re going to really start to see much greater layers of health. I think, we’ve kind of got gut health as a real mainstream health mission and so much innovation going in that space, same for protein, same for high fiber. But actually, if you start to drill down even further into that, I think that’s where, you’re going to see some of the trends coming through in the future.

 

So, when we recently released our Trend Report, we talked a lot about hydration, and actually just keeping well hydrated and the overall impact to your health in terms of sleep, energy levels in the day. And then right through to, as I mentioned, sort of longevity actually is all the different ways that we can be eating a better, more nutritious diet, I think, we’re seeing increasing rises in how many people are applying the Mediterranean style diet to really improve their overall health, we talk an awful, lot about plant points. So, it’s not necessarily about talking about vegan anymore, or flexitarian.

 

Actually, something we’ve really championed in the last year is plant points and putting them on front of every single one of our own label food products, to really just help people understand the improvements they can give to their overall health through adding more plant diversity to their diet and the importance of that for your microbiome. So, I’d say, they’re some of the biggest ones we’re going to see in the next couple of years.

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  21:50

Yes, there’s definitely more talk about things like functional foods.

 

Rachel Chatterton  21:53

Oh, hugely.

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  21:54

Foods that give us more back, which is interesting. And I guess to your point, reminds me of that phrase around.

 

“It’s about adding life to your years, not adding more years to your life.”

 

Right?

 

Rachel Chatterton  22:04

Quality years.

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  22:06

And as someone who’s 41, personally, I can speak to actually, I think about this stuff more. I wish, I thought about it more in my 20s. But you think you’re going to live forever in your 20s? Don’t you? I don’t think most of us get to this point. You think okay, maybe, I need to eat bit cleaner, eat bit better coming back to that thing of adding more life to your years type thing? Sarah, may well be a similar answer to you. But what are the biggest trends you see driving food and beverage? What can we expect to see in the coming years?

 

Sarah Munday  22:35

Yes, I completely agree with Rachel on that whole kind of wellness. And I think, as you mentioned, Jonathan, the kind of functional, and where that’s going is, I think there’s the overall drive for that convenience. I think, people are always looking for this magic bullet, you know, they want something that’s easy, that they can put into their diet, you know, people struggle to get into new routines really vastly changed, what they’re doing. So, I think, where in the world of kind of wellness, functionality, nutrition, we can support with that easy way of getting goodness into people. That’s a big trend that we’re looking into.

 

And you see some shoots off, that have around this kind of customizable and personal nutrition, that people are seeing in terms of whether that’s a selection of vitamin mixes and things like that, they’re doing that, they’ve tried to understand what is it, that my body needs that’s different to someone else to make, you know, may have better microbiome or better brain function. And that real link between gut and mental health is really starting to emerge more and more.

 

I think, some other areas that really are important for us and we see as trends is, there’s still a need for that kind of indulgent treat that kind of just lifestyle, we all work hard, there’s a lot of bad news around, we want that positivity. So, how can we bring that kind of comfort and nostalgia in a positive kind of nutrition and kind of positive indulgent way. So, that kind of gives you a nice little hug or just makes you feel warm and cozy inside. I think, there’s a lot of products that are appearing just for that occasion. And still having that indulgence, where you can still have that Social Media moment with it. That’s not going away, where people want to show off what they’re having.

 

And I think the third area, which I’ve kind of touched on, in some of our conversation already is really consumers are getting more savvy into, where is it coming from, what’s in my food. So, this kind of sustainable sourcing and transparency is really important to be open and honest. Because, you know, things are getting harder for supply chain certain materials.

 

We’re struggling with environmental factors and things like that. So, how do we really make sure that we’re doing the right thing, not only for what we’re putting in our bodies, but actually the longevity that those ingredients and foods are going to be available for the next 20, 30, 40 years because you know, with Farming in the right way. We’re treating the planet in the right way. So, there’s a lot of work that we’re doing around that area. But also you’re seeing more and more businesses talking about, where does it come from, more openness of their supply chain, which is really important.

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  25:16

It’s interesting. And you’ve got a tough job in your hands, by the way, making fruit and veg, indulgent.

 

Sarah Munday  25:21

It is.

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  25:22

But you’re right, and I think, this whole functional foods thing for me, there’s this intersection of, we’re all time poor, right? So, actually, if you can get really good functional foods conveniently accessed, that sort of seems to be the magic area, right now, because there’s functional foods, but they’re not necessarily quick, easy, accessible foods, you know. So, that seems to be the area that actually you can win in that space. Brilliant. I’m going to stop it there for Part one, we’ll take a breath here, and we’ll be back shortly.

 

[Music]

Welcome back to Part two. As a reminder, this is the episode called Let’s Talk Innovation. I’m joined by Sarah Munday, from Innocent Drinks, and Rachel Chatterton from Holland and Barrett. So, guys, next thing, I wanted to talk to you about was actually food security. So, I don’t know if you’ve come across this report by the Eat Lancet Commission. This is on food, planet and health and it was a report produced by 37 scientists. And they warned and I quote.

 

“Without action, the world risks failing to meet UN sustainability development goals and the Paris Agreement. Today’s children will inherit a planet of severely degraded food and where much of the population will increasingly suffer from malnutrition and preventable diseases. There needs to be a sustainable shift largely towards plant-based foods by 2050.”

 

They also go on to say.

 

“Environmental degradation will dramatically impact what we can eat and drink such as specialty crops that can only be grown in a very narrow climate range i.e. avocados, coffee, wine, grapes, that sort of thing.”

 

It’s a bit too much gloom, but I get what they’re saying. First of all, did you come across that report? And secondly, in terms of food security, how much of a priority is that, in a role such as yours? You know, are you thinking about climate change and how it affects because we’re now seeing in certain categories, you know, chocolates, a big one at the moment, that’s been severely impacted in recent times. But Sarah, if I come to you first, how much is food security a priority in a role like yours?

 

Sarah Munday  29:54

We’re trying to harness the goodness of fruit and veg so; you can’t get more in touch with the farmers and where his food come from with what we produce. And I think, that it’s one of the top priorities within our business, which is why we’ve been actively looking at this for a number of years. It’s not something that just because, you know, certain reports come out and I know the Lancet is one of many reports that focus on these things, and you do read them, and it is quite doom and gloom.

 

But there’s a lot of innovation to use that words in the farming sector, in the agricultural sector that are really looking into biodiversity, regenerative agriculture, and you’re starting to see other Brands talk about these things in the media and on TV to make consumers aware. And in Innocent, we a few years ago, launched a big re-wild program, which was really about how do we start bringing that kind of biodiversity into agricultural places, but also around your home and small space land, which helps thrive, you know, B-populations and help start to bring that Flora and Fauna diversity, which is missing, because we eat such a specific percentage of the available plants and fruits and vegetables in the world.

 

And actually, how can we grow those more sustainably? How can we look at alternative varieties? How are they creating these new, more drought resistant varieties? So, for things like strawberries, or berries, you need a lot of water. They’re working on having, you know, varieties that are more hardy to some of the harsh weather that we’re having. But also looking at the techniques that farming practices are going through and making sure that they’re kind of as flexible and giving as much back to the soil is, we’re kind of taking us where we’re growing. And it’s just a continuation of how do we look at this. How do we understand this on?

 

You know, we talk about it nonstop in the business of the future. And we’re also aware when we’re developing new products of, how can we add more diverse ingredients? And how can we start bringing some of these new, maybe less-known ingredients, but still do the same job or flavor profile as some of the more well known fruits and veg that we use to help bring that diversity across. But yes, there’s so much that we’re working with not only within kind of the food manufacturing space, but the food farming and agricultural space to really highlight the challenges within this because without, you know, great farming and great soil, we’re not going to have a sustainable supply chain in the future.

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  32:28

Yes, well said. And I’m really encouraged about some of the regeneration stuff that we’re seeing now. I think, the next couple of years, it’s going to be highlighted more and more, and it’s really good. Yes, I suppose same question for you, Rachel. Food security 2050. Is it too far away for you guys to be thinking about stuff or a bit like Sarah was saying, Are you focused on it and talking about it all the time?

 

Rachel Chatterton  32:54

Absolutely, no, it’s very much part of our day-to-day agenda. And it can’t be because if you’re thinking about sourcing of ingredients, and the diversity of what we need to buy, it’s absolutely paramount to both us and our suppliers. The suppliers we’re working with is, having to evolve because of this. And we’re needing to work with bigger, more collaborative partners who are really investing in the alternatives, in order for us to be able to offer products, if we’re thinking up to 2050.

 

So, whether that be sourcing your fruits, nuts and seeds, and actually thinking about different locations for sourcing these, or whether it be more on the regenerative side, like we made the choice last year when we really launched all our grains and pulses actually to partner with Hot& Dogs, which is a region farm out in Sussex, actually. So, we took that from the continent and actually moved that back to the UK as a brilliant, sustainable, organic move as part of that. So, I think it’s crossing our lives daily.

 

I mean, we’re buying in such a huge array of ingredients. I mean, if you think about our vitamins side of the business, and actually, the shortages of fish oils, we’re now seeing due to the warming of the waters, actually really thinking about alternatives around Omega-3, etc is incredibly important when it’s in our top 10 Best Selling Vitamin line. So, it very much is part of all the planning, we are doing and all the innovation we’re driving, it’s just having to have a very wide range of strategies to deal with this. And being very open-minded and collaboration. We’re not going to do this in isolation. We’ve got to partner together in order to be able to deliver for the future.

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  34:30

I was going to say, I imagine you’re working much closer with suppliers, not only a different set of suppliers, like the example you gave, but in a much closer partnership. So, that I guess in H&Bs example, you can be around it another 150 years. Right?

 

Rachel Chatterton  34:46

Exactly. I think, it’s so much about what we do in innovation is contingency and I think, contingency planning around weather and climate is going to become another arm. I think we talked an awful lot day-to-day language of contingency is normally a backup supplier, if God forbid a factory burned down production, I think, it’s actually now if a crop fails, we’re now needing a contingency.

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  35:08

Yes, good point. I want to talk about data. So, exciting data isn’t. It consumes our world.

 

Rachel Chatterton   35:15

We’re innovators, Jonathan.

 

Jonathan   O’Hagan  35:16

It almost rules our world these days. But I’m very conscious data. It drives so many strategic decisions within today’s business. So, one of the questions I had in terms of innovation, are we heading into a much more AI driven kind of innovation era, how much of AI is coming into your roles driving innovation? Because I guess, I’m taking it as a given data is everything in your role, but how much is AI having an influence, now?

 

Sarah Munday  35:49

I think, AI is something, that is if you want to say taking over the world, it’s becoming part of everybody’s every day, you know, we have AI within our smartphones, we have AI working with us in the background, and I think you can either embrace it, and work out what you can use it for, for the good, or you can kind of go you know what, I’m going to shut down from it. And I think the world is evolving so quickly, that there is so much data, and we do have so much information, you know, that we can’t keep up with the amount.

 

And actually, you can use AI in so many fascinating ways to help support innovation and product development. You know, there’s so many tools out there that do Social listening and understanding what consumers are doing that can help then translate that. There’s some fantastic tools out there, that help speed up some of the processes looking at sensorial in the research and development, you know, sensory tastings and how do they map to other consumer preferences?

 

And looking at ingredients at a molecular level as well and go well, how do these things partner and pair? So, looking at things like AI pairing and things like that. So, it’s one of those things where embracing it in the role, and we’ve already started to see not from Innocent but there’s other brands out there at the moment, who have launched their first AI generated or generated with Chat-GPT drinks. So, there was a Swiss retailer who launched a energy drink that they worked on, Coca Cola have used technology like this to create beverages that have been introduced with AI.

 

And I think we’re going to see more and more of that, of how can we bring that, but it’s not going to replace some of the technical jobs that we have. So, for me, it’s something not to be scared of, it’s embracing it in the right way to use it as a tool to assist our roles to help us, to help speed up in some areas where possible. But it’s still so new. There’s so much evolving, there seems to be a new bit of AI technology every week. And it’s just finding, what’s the right thing for kind of our business and how we use it. But we’re very much looking at in embracing it and using it in the right way.

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  38:05

And Rachel, same question to you, really data, I imagine plays a huge part in your decision making. Has data played a bigger part in recent years? And again, AI, how much of a part does that play in your role right now?

 

Rachel Chatterton  38:19

I think Sarah has articulated it absolutely spot on, I think, it’s the enabler, to help us deliver more efficiently, but it cannot replace what we need to do from both a heart and mind part of NPD and the technical side of NPD, to deliver it safely and securely. So, I see that it can speed us up, I think it can make us more efficient with our decision making, very much at that very top end, when you’re in that ideation stage. So, I feel like it’s going to have a much bigger impact in the early parts of what we call the staging Gate process versus the once you’ve actually got a product on the bench, in the lab, in the factory.

 

I think, it’s that piece up front that can really help us dissect the market, it can help us quickly digest trends and make it more manageable, because actually, we’re almost dealing with too much data now. And you can get so bogged down, that I do strongly still feel there needs to be a huge amount of Gut and Heart field and industry knowledge that helps make our decisions on what we’re going to push forward through the innovation funnel.

 

I think, from an overall HRV perspective, we are incredibly data-driven. And we’ve got an amazing data team. And actually that’s going to help us transform our brand quicker. In other areas of the service side of our business more than the product side, I’d say, in the next five to 10 years. But watch this space, it’s probably AI is probably going to prove me wrong.

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  39:47

Well, like you say, there’s so much data, I guess it can be viewed as a blessing or a curse, right and you can’t be all things to all people. So, harnessing the data in the right way. Probably a great thing. And maybe, look we talked about the Timing thing, about getting products that land at the right time, perhaps more data AI will help in that regard. Who knows? But it’s an interesting space to be, as you say, there’s more and more data, what the future looks like. To be continued, I suppose. So, the next thing I wanted to ask you about, and we’ve sort of touched upon maybe one of these things already, but in your view, and Sarah, come to you first, the biggest threats to good food innovation right now. What do you see as the biggest threats?

 

Sarah Munday  40:31

It’s a really tough one, there’s so many things that come at us, I think, one of my personal views is around the kind of this TikTok generation, it comes as a fad, and being able to react quick enough. And I think Rachel touched on it in terms of, there’s a lot of work that goes into developing a product, there’s a lot of due diligence, there’s a lot of checking, you know, to make sure that product is safe, it’s doing what it says, and particularly when you’re talking about products that have got health claims associated with all those ingredients, there’s a lot of testing and due diligence that we do around that.

 

And then you see these kind of spots of, need it now, this instant gratification, I think that’s something that really disrupts the innovation process, and becomes a real challenge of being able to deliver stuff so quickly, you know, we’re always working a year, at least ahead of where we currently are in the cycle to ensure that we’ve got products ready for next summer and whatnot. But people want that next week, or they want the latest thing next week. And I think that potentially can distract people from doing really good, true innovation to be reactive to a fad as opposed to following a trend and having something with longevity.

 

So, I think for me, that’s one of the biggest challenges of the business of, how do you filter out some of that noise? Data helps to a certain extent, but there will always be that kind of, somebody will get there first with some of those things because they’ve got more flexibility or agility. But I think, we’ve got to really hold how do we have products that have got longevity, that are really helping support that core challenge to the consumer, rather than just giving that instant gratification and fad.

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  42:15

Really interesting. And Rachel for you, Have you got any other thoughts on threats in terms of good innovation?

 

Rachel Chatterton  42:22

It’s a real build from Sarah, actually, I think it’s customer’s understanding the true voice of a Brand these days, because I think influencers are playing such a large role. They’re playing a larger role in people’s marketing budgets than ever before. And actually, that really can dilute a brand message quite quickly. And it’s quite dangerous, actually, in the sense of what, where customers are really getting their understanding of a product before purchase. And I think that’s allowing a lot of poor innovation, dare I say, to flood into the market very quickly. And people aren’t really.

 

It’s almost not helping the customer make the right choices. Because as Sarah says, it’s become so faddy and quick that, it’s that instant gratification. And therefore, they’re not really fully understanding what the product is, which is then clouding the Brands that are genuinely doing an amazing job, and creating really credible products in the market. So, you could see it as a blessing. I mean, to the point you said earlier, Jonathan, that sometimes when people jump into certain trends that actually can help and we can all thrive off that, but it actually can do the opposite. And everybody’s products just get completely lost. And then, that sadly falls into that 1 in 10, that don’t make it.

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  43:44

Yes, it’s that whole kind of… it’s interesting you say, about influencers playing a larger role. It’s true, isn’t it? You know, everything seems to be the best thing, the latest thing, some that you need to get on. But like you commented, early on, Rachel, actually, is it scientifically backed? Is it proven? Does it really do what it says on the tin? Does it work exactly? Because you make a great product that stands up to it’s credential credentials, you build trust. And actually, I suppose you’re all wanting to develop trusted relationships with consumers. So, they come back time and time again. And to your point that might just take a little bit longer than something that’s instantly gratifying. Does business pressure play a big pot these days? Now, you know, with the fads and you know, new categories emerging, is there more pressure to sense now from businesses to get products to market that maybe haven’t gone through the rigor that you would ideally? Like is that playing more of a part now?

 

Rachel Chatterton  44:45

I think it is, and I think, that’s okay. I think, you know, there are some brilliant, credible players coming through I mean, people only need to watch Dragon’s Den every week and you can really see how fast, the market… I don’t think the markets ever moved quicker in terms of level of new food and drink brands entering the UK in the global market, in fact, so that’s incredibly exciting to be part of. But it does have its plus points and its downsides.

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  45:13

Yeah, no, it’s a really good point. And I suppose next question for me, you may have touched upon this already. But what don’t we know yet? So, in your roles, looking at the future, enlighting someone like me, what is the next big thing? What am I not anticipating? Not even thinking about that maybe is on your agenda already?

 

Sarah Munday  45:30

Do you know what, it’s the question we always get asked as people that work in product development and innovation and bring back Mystic Meg is what I say, you know, I wish I had a crystal ball. And I wish, I could say, right, by 2030, we’re all going to be doing this. And we will get you know, when you look at cartoons when we were younger, and it was like by 2020, the Jetsons had us driving in, you know, cars that floated around. And that’s what we predict the future. And, you know, it’s not always going to be that, I think the next big thing is really difficult for us to say, it’s going to be this, it’s going to be that because of what we were talking about earlier with fads that come in, and you know, that they really just take a lot of the noise and take a lot of the energy out of the markets be like, we need that.

 

And we’ve seen that with some beverage brands that have come in in the last year and there was a supply shortage. So, they created this hope demand and now it’s you can really see that fab dropping and things like that. So, I think, you’re going to see more of these. I think these are going to be the big things that come in, just have that. But I think having products that are sustainable brands, that aren’t misleading, so that they’re doing what they say, they’re really clear, is really important in what we look at going forward.

 

So, I think, what is the exact next big thing, I wish I knew, because I would be putting my bets on it. And I would be putting everything but it’s something that we evolved. We can guess, we have our focus in a sense of, we want to get a billion more portions of fruit and veg into people, which is a massive task. And for us, it’s really bringing you know, the fondness to fruit and veg, great taste in that convenient format. And for us, that’s going to be one of our next big things. So, I wish, I could say it’s going to be one thing, but I think, it’s more of a broader point.

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  47:20

So, what I’m not hearing is, we’re not going to have these mini 3d Food Printers in our houses that we just put a little tablet or something in it and press a button, and wonderfully tasting foods, nutritious food just appears.

 

Sarah Munday  47:33

I think, that technology exists. There are small pilot scales of technology like that. And I think, it will work for some people. But I think what’s really important is, there’s a lot of people, food is pleasure, people enjoy the experience of going shopping, finding new foods, finding new experiences. And they also find pleasure in cooking and creating that meal. And then there’s a big social thing about sharing food and people enjoying that. So, you know, are we all going to be sitting at home, typing into our computers at lunchtime to say, Yeah, I want a Caesar salad for my dinner and you go home and it’s… I don’t think everybody will be doing that. There’ll be a small group of people because there’s such that link, as I said, between pleasure and food that some of those things just don’t merge together. And you’re never going to get that.

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  48:27

Yes, well listen, I think, it was redefine meat, who had a 29 million pound investment, 3d printed food. So, you’re right, technology’s there. There’s going to be a place for it, for sure. But a bit like coffee, you know, coffee, it’s as much about the ritual as it is the product right? So, I think it’s a really good point around food, you know. Will we ever want it to press a button, and three seconds later, something amazing appears you really lose so many other vital, open pun intended, vital ingredients that we enjoy about it? Rachel, what are your thoughts, next big thing? What don’t I know? What can I expect?

 

Rachel Chatterton  49:05

This is exactly what Sarah says. I mean, if we all had this, we’d all be rich and retired now. However, I think, Sarah’s completely right in the sense of, I don’t believe we’re going to see people move away from their relationship and an emotional connection to food and drink. I think, that’s only going to grow. However, I do think more, we will see more functionality. I think the blurring of the lines of how you take supplements and food is going to be a big one. So, I think the need for instant health. And we’ve all referred to it today, that it’s top of mind for so many customers. I do see, that we’ll see big steps in innovation of, how we quickly get health on the go. And I think, we’re already starting to see it in categories such as soft drinks in fact, where drinks becoming so very functional, you could borderline suggest that’s a replacement to taking your daily vitamin and so I do feel like there’ll be an increasing amount of functional food on the market. And it almost fulfills that scientific part of your day versus the pleasure state of your day. And I think, we’ll see a customer’s take a bigger shift in the way they structure their day, and they eat their day in order to do both parts.

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  50:19

It’s really interesting, I was reading a report about food being tailored to your genome. So, you know, there’s so much more insight now on the foods that work for us. And everyone’s different, right. But I think Rachel, you make a good point, there probably will be more foods that cater to our individual needs.

 

Rachel Chatterton  50:38

Well, I think, there’s so much innovation in the services that are going to help us understand what we personally should be eating. I mean, we only have to look at all of our risks now, 5, 10 years ago, most of us were wearing devices, and actually, that’s only going to evolve. And so I think, customers are going to become increasingly educated. So actually, I think, we’ll end up eating a much broader range of products as people understand how personal diet is, and personalized nutrition becoming just a very big part of our day-to-day lives.

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  51:07

Just one final thing, guys, before I let you go, I just want to touch upon packaging. Packaging is such a big thing, isn’t it? It’s been talked about for many years, whoever can solve that conundrum, I guess will be quite rightly rewarded handsomely. Sarah, what are your thoughts on packaging? How much of a part is packaging in your world? Are we any closer to things like edible packaging, for example?

 

Sarah Munday  51:33

You know, packaging is so important. It’s something I’ve looked after and worked on for many years across the jobs that I have. And I think, it’s the first thing that people see of your product. So, before they get to even taste or look at it, it’s the packaging that is there. And the packaging has so many jobs, it needs to do, you know, it’s not just carrying the bottle, it has to be able to survive supply chains and transporting and hold the product at it’s best integrity. But there is so much technology and innovation going into doing the right thing with packaging. You know, looking at sources, recyclability, reusability all of those things, there’s lots of investment that is going into that you know. At Innocent, we’re investigating and looking more into bio pets and having those from different sources.

 

We already have recycled content within our bottles, but also the landscape and legislations changing so with the PPWR, there’s going to be in Europe by the end of 2030. 10% of products need to have a reusable or returnable format. So, moving back to probably some things that seemed quite old, you know, we remember the milkmen back in the 80s and 90s. That returnable and reusable module is starting to be possible again in the future. So, looking at ways of how do you still deliver great product quality, and packaging and the two come together, you can’t just look at packaging on its own, you have to look at what you’re putting in the packaging. The edible packaging, it’s something that’s been around for quite a little while, there’s a company that obviously do a seaweed based product and they tested it, I know it, I think it’s a couple of marathons. And it’s great for that kind of instant, you need a bit of hydration, or you need something but it’s quite a different sensorial experience, when you do try it versus normally with a drink, you’re taking small sips or gulps rather than popping in a kind of a large pillow pack, it feels like doing that.

 

But I think, that if you look at what that technology is made up of, so looking at seaweed and looking at alginates, they’re really interesting alternatives to packaging for shorter-shelf-life products and how they can be brought in. So, all beverages going to suddenly be replaced with edible packets and edible pouches. I think, we’re quite a way off from that. Because there’s some supply chain challenges with being able to get that to happen. But the technology behind it with looking at seaweed and those more natural packaging materials, you’re going to see more and more of that, you know, within probably the next year, or two, where they’re using that technology in a more sustainable way to deliver great products.

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  54:24

And Rachel’s slightly different spin on this question, but how much is packaging a part of your role? And also, how much does it play a part in the suppliers that you work with, and maybe the specifications that you require to work with certain suppliers?

 

Rachel Chatterton  54:38

Very much goes hand-in-hand and we talk a lot about the fact, you can’t have a great product without great packaging. And therefore we’re, I think increasingly having to start with the packaging and working to what the right product solution is. And I think, customer demand actually is suggesting that as well in the sense of, it’s not in the right format, in a great format that’s right for the product, then the products not going to work either. So, we’re really starting to work possibly even to the point where packaging comes first, I think choices supplier is, it does limit us, I think I’ve mentioned it a couple of times.

 

But I think, if we don’t collaborate and partner with as an industry on packaging, we will never get there. And I think, we work with some incredible small artisanal suppliers at H&B, which are probably getting their first fruiting into retail, which is an amazing relationship to build. And it’s actually allowing us to bring a lot of market first. But it often means, if you’re on the smaller scale, from a manufacturing perspective, the packaging might be more limited. So, there is always going to be compromise along the way. So, I think, as I go back to that collaboration, it’s going to be really key.

 

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  55:46

Now finally, guys, I just want to wrap up by well, Rachel, we spoke about, you know, innovation is hard, right? Really hard. How much I asked a bit about success earlier on, but how much is failure a part of your role? Because I guess, you don’t land everything, right? Not everything’s the success. So, talk to me a bit about how much failure plays a part in your role. And what’s acceptable, you know, is it say, as simple as a 50/50, you get one and two products that land in a profitable and drive revenue. Rachel, talk to you about that side of things and success and failure in your role.

 

Rachel Chatterton  56:22

Failure is very much half of the job, I would say. And I think, I loved Sarah’s thoughts, right at the beginning when she said, articulated them as going to heaven. Actually, I think on a more negative level, I think, I’ve got a fair, I’ve got what I call my little book of dogs, which are products that I brought to the UK market, and maybe never should have done, or actually was just a little bit to…

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  56:43

To keep them locked away for no one to see.

 

Rachel Chatterton  56:46

I keep them locked away. Most of them were treasured gems, but if they just been launched at a different time. But I think, going back to your question, specifically Jonathan, being in innovation, and R&D is about agility. And I think, it’s your ability to fail fast, but learn hard. So, take those lessons along the way, don’t treat them as failures, actually just treat them as lessons learned. Work in an environment that gives you the permission to fail. And if it doesn’t work, move on. And I think, we don’t do enough trialing. I think, it’s so hard to trial in this space, because innovation and R&D is so incredibly expensive and time consuming. But actually our ability to try would help us learn a lot more quickly. I think, you’re constantly pivoting.

 

I think that’s a big part of anybody, who works in this industry learning that every day, something different is going to happen, something you couldn’t foresee. Even, I’ve done the survey two years now, there’s things that tripped me up every day. And I’m learning. And we talk a lot about progress not perfection at H&B. And actually just trying something and moving forward with it. Because actually, it’s going to feed into another product. If it’s not that one.

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  57:55

It must be surprised sometimes Rachel by products that well, just catch you, by surprise of a house successful and then vice versa, I guess you must think wow, this is perfect. Just what we need. And then, maybe, it doesn’t land, you must get that constant contrast all the time.

 

Rachel Chatterton  58:09

Hundreds of times, there’s dozens and dozens of examples, where you launch something because you think, it’s a niche need, but it’s a part of having a credible range. And then it absolutely flies and vice versa. There’s been dozens where we think, it’s going to be a massive seller and actually doesn’t even make it past the sort of six month hurdles. But I guess, that’s what makes the job so fulfilling.

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  58:32

Brilliant. And Sarah, same question to you. Finally, success failure? What does good look like in terms of that ratio? You know, do you have sort of a benchmark of right, every third or fourth idea creation will land, what it look like in the world of Innocent?

 

Sarah Munday  58:49

We don’t put the pressure on it, in that way we try and add, you know, Staging Gate process, which I think everyone has their own version of. But in Innocent, what we try and do is, you try and filter out some of those things much sooner. So, what we try and do it in a sense, and I think, Rachel explained it really beautifully. Is that test and learn. So, as you’re going through the development process, how can you test it, learn quickly and in an agile way to go. You know what? This isn’t working, this isn’t the right thing, or the scopes change, or actually, we’re pivoting from the original idea that we wanted to share. Let’s stop, let’s move forward. So, we work in a business where we try and stop things sooner. Some things will still get to market. And we think yes, they’re going to be great. They’re going to be amazing. And then sometimes unfortunately, it’s not quite the right time, or it just wasn’t quite the right execution. But again, it’s taking what’s working, what’s not working, how do we learn from that and how do we put it into new products or switch up that product? And just having that ability to react and not be afraid of failure.

 

I think, so many people get upset to be like, “Oh, well, it hasn’t worked, this hasn’t worked, I’m a failure”. It’s no. What have you learned from it? What can we take away? How can we learn from it? How can we build a better stronger product in the future? Or, actually, is there something in our process that doesn’t work. And I’m really proud that in a sense, we have a lovely safe environment where we can test and learn, we are trying to do it at pace. We don’t always get it right. But we enable our teams to go, I’m going to test this. And if it doesn’t work, we’ve got a contingency.

 

And part of my role is just managing that and making sure that we’re looking at the risks. And we’re always doing stuff, that’s going to still deliver great quality, we always want to make sure, we’ve got great tasting products, we’re not going to send anything that’s not great tasting outdoor, and that we meet all the kind of food safety requirements, labeling and claims that are needed. So, there’s certain things we won’t rush on. But other thing is, let’s test and learn on and pivot quickly.

 

Jonathan O’Hagan  1:00:55

The main takeaway there is that relationship with failure, which I think is so important in in so many walks of life, but I guess in an innovation setting, it’s probably never truer, right? Like you said, Rachel, you know, fail fast, and learn hard, you know, probably a brilliant way to end it, really. So, thank you so much, guys that I’ve learned an awful lot. You’re both doing great things in your respective environments. So, thanks so much for coming to share your thoughts and spending a bit of time with me, I really appreciate that. And, yes, we’ll keep in touch. And thanks once again for your time.

 

[Music]  1:01:38

Well, I hope you enjoyed that. That was fantastic. It was really good to hear from Sarah and Rachel, two similar views on a lot of different things, but one coming from our supplier or manufacturer, the other one coming from a retailer. And it’s amazing actually how similar they operate and think and work. For me there were many takeaways, we obviously covered a lot of ground but for me, I think being an evidence based retailer, as Rachel said, is really important. I think, in this world of health washing, it’s going to be more important to have research backs, science backs, products that actually deliver on some of their statements it’s going to be more and more important. As years go on this whole kind of health and wellness trend as well, it’s only going to get more, you know, I think as Sarah or myself said, Actually, I think it was Rachel who said, it’s about adding life to your years, not years to your life. And I think that was a theme, that was coming through as a big trend.

 

I thought the bit around threats was really interesting. I mean, food security, clearly, we’ve got some climatic influences that are at play now within certain categories, like chocolate, for example. So, these guys are thinking about food security and sustainability and regeneration. So, that was fascinating to hear. And also, you know, the threat from this kind of short-term influence style, you know, call it TikTok generation, Instagram generation, you know, that’s a real threat, you know, products that aren’t quite what they say they are, you know, there’s maybe an underlying kind of motivation behind doing that sort of stuff. So, I thought that was fascinating.

 

And then finally, yes, that whole agility, fail fast, learn hard, actually being in an environment where you can fail and come up with, you know, that magic product or something that works, but you got to be prepared to fail to get there. So, really interesting to get their thoughts. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, as ever, if you’ve not done so already, please do subscribe to the Podcast, give it a rating, whatever you have to do. The bigger we could get the Podcast, the better guests we can get on and the further the reach will go. So, I hope you enjoyed it. Stay tuned, another episode is coming soon. And thanks very much for listening.