November 29, 2007

One More Step in our Portfolio Transformation: Sensações® Ao Forno

Here at PepsiCo do Brasil Snacks we started off 2007 with a plan to execute a major portfolio transformation. From creating healthier snacking options, adding more Brazilian food values, expanding our demographic footprint... and hopefully break some packaging rules along the way.

This week we're adding another chapter to our journey with the launch of Brazil's first baked potato chip: Sensações® Ao Forno. This launch, which will be test-marketed in Rio, meets a growing consumer trend. Brazilian adults are looking for convenient ways to help them improve their eating habits through healhtier more natural products, as well as, reducing consumption of sugar, sodium and fried. However, consumers are becoming more demanding... they want healthier options but are not willing to sacrifice on value, convenience and great taste. In the world of snacks, baked has a higher perception but so far options in the market have not delivered great taste. Until now. After over a year of hard work, our R&D Team, led by Ramiro Cordova in Mexico City and Sergio Julio in São Paulo, did an amazing job developing a potato chip that delivers high consumer scores on taste, crunchiness, texture, color and overall product experience. Seems simple, but believe me, for those who manage a product innovation process know that it's not always an easy task.

Sensações® Ao Forno comes in two great flavors: cheese & herbs and roast beef. The product also comes in a stand-up pouch versus the pillow bag found in traditional salty snacks.

Booz Allen Hamilton's "Web 2.0 – The Consumer In Control"

A few days ago I read a very interesting report on a recent study conducted by Booz Allen Hamilton on the impact of Web 2.0 initiatives on the world of business. The study, called “Web 2.0 – The Consumer In Control” was the result of interviews with 4,600 consumers in the U.S., Germany, UK, Middle East and Brazil. The results confirm that consumers are relying more than ever on online communities and blogs to gather product information, make recommendations, compare prices, complain about service... information that is impacting purchasing behavior. As I’ve posted before, this is a subject that I’m very passionate about since I believe consumer collaboration is becoming a powerful new marketing approach that will transform the way we manage brands and businesses.

November 23, 2007

Time® Magazine - Best Inventions of the Year

Take a look at this year's Time® Magazine's special eidition 'Best Inventions of the year'... full of cool inspirational product concepts.

November 20, 2007

Innovating on the Ruffles® Brand

For the past 30 years Ruffles® in Brazil stood for 'a batata da onda' (the ridged potato chip). In time for the summer season, we're shaking things up on the snack brand Brazilian teens love. Two cool product innovations will be hitting the shelves this week. The first, is called Ruffles® Palito - a french-fries-style snack that brings the fast-food experience in a convenient format.
The second, is called Ruffles® Toast - the market's first potato & wheat-based cracker with the famous ridges so dear to the brand. Extending a brand into a new category is not easy. However, he feel confident we have a right to succeed. First, consumer studies show that Ruffles® is a brand with a good emotional connection with local teens. Teen consumers told us they would like to experience their brand in other ways. In fact, this particular concept had the highest scores in terms of overall liking and purchase intention. Beacause the Ruffles® brand is so intrinsically associated to potato chips, we knew we needed to differentiate the product from traditional potato chips. We also want Ruffles® Toast to be dispalyed in the cracker aisle so it's being offered in a carton box instead of a pillow bag. We were also careful to develop flavor profiles with a teen angle: cheese and 'pão-na-chapa' (a Brazilian classic... bread-on-the-grill a common morning choice consumed in bakeries).

Both innovations were led by Carla Araujo, our Marketing Mgr. Teen Snacking, Alexandre Chiavegatti and Victoria Gabrielli... three young marketing talents we'll be hearing more about in the future.

Send an e-mail with your thoughts after you try it. Would love to hear your comments.

November 8, 2007

IBM Breakfast with Nicholas Donofrio

I was invited to a breakfast last week by IBM Brazil with guest speaker Nicholas Donofrio - IBM's EVP Innovation & Technology. I had already been to the IBM Forum Brazil a few months ago and it's fascinating to see how Big Blue is positioning themselves so well as an innovation partner. Mr. Donofrio is a gifted speaker with thought-provoking ideas and examples on how IBM has helped companies look for disruptive innovation as a way to transform business and accelerate growth. Another Cool Collaboration Tool

Another great collaboration idea: I'm fascinated by the potential of collective thinking and the power it can have on the way companies operate in the future. Our insights manager, Fabio Paiva, told me about this very cool site called that intends to "...improve the products around us by collectively rethinking bad products into better products and good ideas into great ideas". It's still in beta testing but you can already see some interesting redesign suggestions. I hope the idea blossoms.