Open Innovation Requires a Different Kind of Communication with Customers, says BASF Innovation Executive

Chat to any major ingredients supplier at a trade show and you can expect to hear liberal use of buzzwords from ‘partnership’ and ‘collaboration’ to ‘open innovation’ says BASF’s Samy Jandali. But he insists that the company walks its talk when it comes to open innovation.

Speaking to NutraIngredients-USA at the IFT trade show in Las Vegas, Jandali – the head of BASF’s new North American nutrition and health division – says BASF is focused on “customer-centric innovation.” One recent example of this is the recent expansion of the company’s food technology and applications center in Tarrytown, New York, which provides a clear signal to the market that BASF wants to work more closely with customers, he says.

Jandali explains that open innovation requires a different type of communication with customers. “It’s about thinking business-to-consumer, but acting business to business,” he says. BASF approaches customers with ideas that are based on market analysis and customer research and demographics as a means of opening up a dialogue with them. The nutrition and health division of BASF even has a slogan that speaks of its openness to co-creation: “Welcome to our kitchen.”

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