General Mills has tapped into its open innovation ecosystem – G-Win – to help it develop a new line of sauce-free seasoned frozen vegetables.
The owner of the popular Green Giant brand was looking at ways of offering vegetables that didn’t require the addition of sauce or butter. Though it could have taken on the research and development, the multinational felt it would be more efficient and economical to adopt an open innovation approach.
The innovations were driven by consumers as feedback had revealed that plain vegetables were thought of as boring, but many customers didn’t have the time to prepare more elaborate dishes.
Through its online open innovation portal, the Fortune 500 company located Burley Foods, an ingredients supplier to food manufacturers.
External World-Class Innovators
“The culinary knowledge of Burley’s chef provided the expertise we needed to bring more complex seasonings and unique vegetable pairings to Green Giant,” said Kate Gallager, Green Giant R&D manager. Together, Burley and General Mills devised and developed new recipe ideas.
The net result was ‘Seasoned Steamers’, a line of six flavor varieties that include broccoli with Parmesan cheese and Tuscan-inspired seasoning, and carrots flavored with honey Dijon seasoning.
Pursuing Future Goals Via Open Innovation
Having hit product gold via an open innovation route, both General Mills and Burley Foods will continue to work together to innovate for the future.
“We believe this model and our partnership with General Mills will be the blueprint for success in the future,” added Mike Burley, owner of Burley Foods.