MFIC Q4 2017 Christmas Newsletter
Food Innovation Centre Newsletter
Food Innovation Centre Q4 2018 – Christmas Newsletter
It’s beginning to look a lot like Xmas!
An incredible 2017 year in review!
Merry Christmas to the entire Monash Food Innovation Centre community.
The ‘sands through the 2017’ hourglass have certainly disappeared quickly. Time flies when you are bettering the odds for successful innovation for Aussie businesses and having fun.
For those of you that are yet to visit the Centre at Monash, attend a workshop or an informative breakfast, I extend a personal invitation for you to connect with us in the back end of 2017. I am only a phone call or an email away and you never know, that could be the first step in sprinkling some water on your innovation seeds so that they can start to grow.
12 months on from our last Christmas newsletter, we draw breath to reflect for a moment…
The year that was 2017 was HUGE. We have engaged with over 2,500 businesses or individuals ranging from Start Up’s, SME’s, Multi Nationals, Research hubs and local, state and federal Governments, International businesses from China, Indonesia, Singapore to name a few.
- We hosted 26 events including China Pathways with COFCO and Alibaba, Food Fraud, Gut Health symposiums and the evergreen ‘Bringing New Product Ideas To life’ workshops.
- A staggering 1,500 businesses have engaged with us at symposiums, speaking events, workshops, breakfast networking mornings and looking for more in 2018.
- Businesses that have worked with us on innovation projects and programs number in excess of 75 for 2017.
If you haven’t come to see us yet, make a New Year’s resolution to book an appointment. Like many other businesses mentioned above, you’ll be glad you did.
Don’t take our word for it, here’s what some of our recent clients have said…
It’s great to see we are helping businesses to innovate for sustainable future growth.
With an impending category review requiring new product design and prototypes inside extremely tight timelines, the FIC was engaged to create a range of packaging mock-up’s that were to be structurally sound, compatible with retail shelf space requirements and clearly featuring the brand health benefits. “The FIC team rose to the challenge and really put in over and above to bring to life an eye catching design that was transposed on to marketing mock-up’s, printed & assembled and taken to the impending domestic Review and Retail trade shows both nationally and internationally. Without the dedication and expertise of the FIC, we would never have been able to achieve our ambitions.” D’lite Foods
“At Lion Dairy & Drinks, we are always on the lookout for great innovations backed by science and technology. Through our interactions with the Monash Food Innovation Centre team and the collaborative exploration of our strategic opportunities, we have co created a couple of research projects to commercialise some of Monash best science discoveries in our branded portfolio. We look forward to many more as we continue the exploration.” Greg Holden, Lion Dairy and Drinks
The FIC presented Houston’s Farm with a suite of innovation opportunity areas and recommendations of design rules for each category to ensure relevant and differentiated product expressions to delight consumers. These outputs enabled Houston’s Farm to reset their commercial plan and populate their innovation pipeline for future success.
“The Bringing Ideas To Life Intrapreneurial workshops have equipped our commercial and technical teams with a number of proven methodologies to help ignite our new product development journey. These practical tools provide the necessary methods and rigour to ensure success in an increasingly competitive local and global marketplace.” Kelly Hales, Head of Research, Development & Quality SunRice
What else has been happening?
NEW Multimillion-dollar Monash Food Incubator showcases its spring ‘crop’ of entrepreneurs in a pitch and demonstration evening led by our accelerator partner
In the August Newsletter we heralded the opening of the new Monash Food Incubator (MFI), a state of the art facility for the food community, complete with a collaboration space, stunning food kitchen ‘incubator’ and a dairy mini pilot lab.
We move quickly and 4 months later, we are proud to share with you the fruits of the first ‘incubated’ Monash accelerator program.
On Monday evening, 11th December, Monash and Rocket Seeder hosted a pitch and demo evening to potential investors, advisors and business partners. An audience of over 150 people enjoyed a wonderfully enlightening evening, as 11 entrepreneurial businesses pitched their ideas and models to a very engaged and interested audience. The entrepreneurs were the pioneers for ‘Spring Crop ‘17’ and embarked upon a 14 week accelerated journey to pressure test their ideas, frame up their market and opportunity, immerse themselves with like-minded individuals and refine their sustainable propositions in readiness for a 5 minute pitch that could change the trajectory of their idea, and lives!
The diversity of ideas from the Spring Crop ‘magnificent 11’ and the professionalism in which they presented their pitch was a win for the new ‘ecosystem of support’ that the Monash Food Incubator had conceived in such a short space of time since its launch in August this year.
Check out the link to Rocket Seeder https://www.rocketseeder.com/spring-crop-17/
The next cohort of Entrepreneurs are kicking off in March 2018, find out more at https://www.rocketseeder.com/.
Another way a business or a start-up can come and leverage the Monash Food Incubator is via a funded partnership program such as this one that Chobani and Monash are offering
Brook Lark from HuffPost Australia wrote this article in late October. https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/10/16/have-a-food-startup-this-program-helps-you-get-going_a_23245343/
Chobani Incubator – Update on applications that closed end November 2017
A staggering 102 applications have been received from start-ups and early stage businesses! This is an enormous result and speaks volumes for the ambitions and abilities of the energetic applicants. Monash and Chobani are busily working through all of the applications so that the successful applicants can be notified and prepare for the February 2018 intake. Good luck to all that have applied.
Food Fraud – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Breakfast event: November 2017
Food Fraud is a hot topic! The FIC had been requested by many industry sources to bring some expert minds and businesses together to inform attendees as to the incidence, dangers and potential solutions to this burgeoning counterfeiting phenomenon. By definition, Food Fraud it is the commonly adopted terminology for discussing international deception in the sale, advertising or labelling of food or food ingredients to achieve an economic benefit. (Curll, J, 2015).
The aim of the Breakfast Event was to provide an entree into the latest technologies, legal insights, business partners, case studies, watch outs and next steps to help you reduce the risk of Food Fraud occurrences in your supply chain.
All presenters underlined the gravitas of Food Fraud and Joe quoted a report from Price Waterhouse Coopers that “Global Food Fraud is worth $52 Billion AUD compared with $8.5 Billion in illegal firearms and $30 Billion in the illicit drug trade”.
Here’s a snapshot of topics covered by each speaker.
Janine Curll, Monash PHD:
- Do we really have food fraud activity in the domestic food supply?
- What are some of the significant differences between the Australian food fraud experience and elsewhere?
- How much “food fraud prevention” is enough for a food business?
Temogen Hield, Data Dot Technology:
- Real life examples outlined why Chinese consumers have trust issues with respect to counterfeit and food safety as well as the rest of the world as counterfeiting starts to spread into their territories.
- Horror stories about trying to enforce legal rights in China? Market examples on this issue in the context ways to protect against counterfeiting
- Advice for Brand owners entering into China for the first time? Particularly when it comes to choosing distributors.
Joe Lederman, Food legal: (Examples of questions Joe receives from Australian manufacturers)
- “Our company grows an Australian food product but gets some of the processing done in China. We are a bit concerned about the new Australian country of origin laws because of some of the new labelling requirements. What should we do and can we still use the kangaroo for Grown in Australia?”
- “What do you do if you discover someone is using your company’s brand without your permission in China? “
Vadim Mishin, ATUB YUTO:
- Anti-counterfeiting lessons brands should learn from the banknote printing industry
- The problem with e-commerce/daigou channels and how big is the problem
- Are Australian brands fast adopters of the secure packaging technologies
- Does the anti-counterfeiting technology carry a significant cost burden?
The interaction on the day and the post feedback questionnaire in terms of applicability and future use of some protection tools was very encouraging.
The newly introduced Monash technology Playfields also received encouraging interest from attendees that filled out a post breakfast survey. Playfields assists interested parties in learning, playing and applying new technologies that could disrupt and challenge your current business model. If you would like to discuss this initiative further, please contact the FIC via email@example.com.
Building skills and capability in regional Victoria. The FIC hit the rural road in 2017!
We took our ‘Bringing New Product Ideas To life’ one-day workshop to: Geelong, Horsham, Bendigo and East Gippsland (Sale and Bairnsdale). In concert with many partnerships including the Victorian State Government, Regional Development Victoria, Regional Landcare, Hort Innovation, East Gippsland Food Cluster, National vegetable extension network, Wimmera development association, the bespoke workshop was tailored for regional businesses looking to learn how to innovate for new products, new business ideas and even those thinking about trying something completely different!
An example of the type of verbatim that was received in the workshop review was, “The workshop highlighted the importance of understanding the target consumer and engaging with them along the innovation journey to create relevant products for people to enjoy”. Hugh Reardon from Dicky Bill Farming Co Gippsland.
Attendees came from all walks of life:
- New Businesses / farms / entrepreneurs
- People looking to diversify their business
- Established businesses wanting to strengthen their offer / brand
- Commodity businesses looking to create a brand to protect their futures
What did the workshop cover? Here’s the spiel from the media that recruited attendees from the local communities:
Do all your friends tell you that you make the best strawberry jam, delicious yoghurt or grow the best vegetables that they have ever tasted? How do you know that your passion, hobby, or ideas are ready to compete with all the other products on the shelves? Allow the Monash Food Innovation experts to show you the way. We have launched hundreds of products and know how to do it right! In one day, you will learn how to find out everything that is important to know about bringing your ideas to life. We will show you how to understand your competitors, your all-important consumers and form a well thought out business and launch plan along the way. During this day, you will actually build a product from scratch so that you understand the importance of having something tangible that can be shown to consumers and retailers to get feedback. The Food Innovation Centre want to show you how to better your odds for success.
Event: Asahi Australia recently partnered with the FIC for a “Future Packaging immersion” event showcasing all the latest innovations from the Supplier community.
On Tuesday 14th November, Asahi’s Innovation, Technical Team, and the FIC transformed the entire top floor of the New Horizons Building at Monash into a modularised, private viewing and interaction packaging show to invigorate and inspire their New Product Development ideation of the future.
Paul Munien, Packaging Technologist at Asahi and event organizer was pleased with the outcomes from the day. “This will become an annual gathering for us now. Our aim was to showcase the latest and greatest to our own commercial team and get them thinking about ways of doing things differently, and just understanding what’s out there….”
Paul received many comments throughout the show (and via a post review) to echo that the day was very worthwhile and will inform a lot of the product plans going forward.
The Suppliers also enjoyed showcasing their wares and having some more relaxed interaction time with Asahi’s commercial team. Hally labels, O-I glass, Visy, GPIA, Cospak, Labelmakers, Interpak and Print Media were on campus, just to name a few,
All in all, ‘an innovative way of showcasing innovation’, that is set to be an annual fixture at Monash.
What’s planned for 2018?
Events program snapshot: Symposiums, Workshops, Knowledge talks and Bespoke programs:
2018 will be packed full of new topics and programs in the form of future focused research symposiums, knowledge talks and topics of interest, refreshed workshops bringing best practice innovation tools and interactive learning as well as the ability for you to request bespoke programs tailored just for you and your business personnel.
Here’s what the planned series of events looks like:
Be sure to visit www.foodinnovationcentre.com.au for all the latest details.
To register interest or seek further information, email Program Manager Rod Heath on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Look forward to seeing you at some, or several, of these events next year!
12 Days of FICMAS!
Finally, as 2017 draws to a close, the team from the Monash Food Innovation Centre would like to extend good tidings to you and your families over the festive and New Year period.
In keeping with last year’s newsletter and the popular rewrite of the 12 days of Christmas. Here’s some new inclusions for this year, and the year to come. (Hum along to the 12 Days of Christmas carol).
On the twelfth day of FICmas my true love gave to me……
Eye tracking visualisation
Design thinking and concept sketching
Best practice innovation workshops
Product research labs
Pathways to China
Research Future Symposiums
Breakfast ‘topics de jour’
An inspiring events program in the Monash Clayton University tree!
Major food brands use “Design to value" and "Price-Pack Architecture" to focus innovation
The latest innovations in healthy foods take new directions