How Nestle New Business Ventures sparks fresh innovation

VEVEY, SWITZERLAND — Nestle USA is leveraging its 30,000-strong workforce to spark fresh innovation. Its New Business Ventures group partners with teams across the organization to encourage “what if” projects, lending expertise on early-stage trends to test new products and business models that appeal to the evolving tastes of consumers.

Launched in 2017, Nestle’s open channel innovation platform has resulted in nearly two dozen product launches. The latest example marks the company’s first foray into the frozen smoothie space.

Outshine Smoothie Cubes launched this month with three fruit-forward formulations. Varieties include Go-Getter, featuring banana, pineapple, papaya, date paste and beet juice with a touch of chia and B vitamins, and Gut Supporter, featuring strawberries, banana, coconut cream, carrot juice, date paste, beet juice, chia seed and fiber. The third option, Glow To, is made with collagen peptides from Vital Proteins and contains banana, pineapple, mango, date paste, spinach, kale, kiwi, cucumber and chia seed.

Users combine the premixed fruit blends with liquid, let it sit for 15 minutes, then shake for a mess-free smoothie experience.

The concept was generated by Kelaine Cleary, a member of Nestle’s contracting manufacturing group. Initially dubbed Blenderful Smoothie Cubes, her idea was to create a convenient and cost-effective way to get a healthy start to the day.

“She pitched the idea to our executive leadership team, and then we had our collection of chefs design the product,” said Doug Munk, senior director of New Business Ventures for Nestle. “It was greenlit within six months, and we got to market in 20 northern California stores to test it. We demonstrated through sales and velocity that we were on to something, and because of the scale of Nestle, we realized Outshine was the perfect brand for the product.”

Nestle in September added a new raspberry peanut butter flavor to its lineup of Rallies Nut Butter Bombs. The refrigerated snack brand, which also offers brownie almond butter and salted cashew butter bites, debuted online and in select retailers last year and is expanding nationwide this fall.

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