A Spotlight on: IFST Food Innovation Group

IFST’s Food Innovation Special Interest Group is a group of IFST members that have one thing in common: we are passionate about innovation in all its forms. Innovation is critical everywhere, in the creation of a new product, or the design of packaging, in new ways of working, in nutritional or quality improvements…the list is endless. Innovation drives growth for an organisation, be it the food industry, a university, a retailer or an agency.

Our group, which celebrates its first year this month, has a clear purpose.

“To promote and inspire excellence in food product and packaging innovation.”

We will do this by:

  • Showcasing best practices and championing a growth/innovation mindset 
  • Curating an innovation tool kit 
  • Having innovation insights and horizon scanning as our compass 

Our story in numbers:

22 members with diverse backgrounds, from lecturers to industry professionals and from consultants to students, across a number of food categories and sizes of organisations.

1 Launch Event was organised last June and two more are in the making for later this year.

Our Inaugural Webinar “How to Spot Trends and Influence People”, with speakers from thefoodpeople, Citizen-Good and Black Swan Data, attracted a large audience and received great feedback.
For the next events we continue the journey through Innovation with a focus on creative idea generation.

5 Ecotrophelia Teams mentored, including the winning team. Members of the Group supported the teams that entered the competition by providing feedback and guidance in the form of a Dragons’ Den session with them, in advance of the UK finals.

12 Monthly Meetings including Inspiration Space, where we invite other members or external presenters on topics and opportunities on innovation.

6 Contributions to IFST’s initiatives, including presenting at Member’s Week (watch the video), chairing the Innovation session at IFST’s Spring Conference, contributing to Horizon Scanning, Project Diamond and IFST’s Open Letter for a UK-wide Food Strategy.

1820 and counting, the total number of Products Launched during the careers of the group’s members.

Click to watch this mini trailer that brings all this to life.

What next?

We have some great plans for the rest of the year:
We’ll continue to build a community where we share best practices and tackle Innovation challenges. We will be piloting a podcast series on behalf of IFST. We have a number of topics on Innovation identified and expect to launch in the next few months.
We are organising an innovation webinar on creativity and
We have started curating the Innovation Toolkit, that will benefit all IFST members with an interest in delivering Innovation in all its forms!

You belong here...

If like us, you get excited when you design new packaging, launch a new product or apply a new technique, then why not join us. You can reach us through the Members’ platform or contact:

Susan Arkley – Chair
Lindsey Solomons – Vice Chair
Devyani Bali – Secretary
Valia Christidou - Communications

Written by Valia Christidou (Communications, IFST Food Innovation Group Committee Member)