View Full Version : Who are the "innovators" in the industry?

03-18-2004, 10:39 AM
Looking for an opinion from people on the board....

What companies do you think are the true innovators in the industry? Why?



03-18-2004, 03:39 PM
As much as I hate to say it, I think Red Bull is a real innovator. They brought energy drinks into the mainstream and they found a way to charge a big price for a tiny can. After Red Bull, you started seeing everybody using smaller cans and developing an energy drink.

03-18-2004, 04:24 PM
I will have to agree ...RB is my choice.

Reason is they prefected the "grassroots" marketing, then turned it to "see but cant touch"..
you guys n gals know...the whole carrot on a stick brain washing.

Wow has it worked! and to that, they are the true innovators!

Congrats RB and Thank You!

Terry K
03-19-2004, 03:35 AM
Oddly enough, I'll say Coke Consolidated. They created Fridge Packs, which revolutionized things, as well as the fact they are willing to try new things like the PET packaging and so on.

the saint
03-19-2004, 09:29 AM
if you are going to mention coke for introducing fridgepacks you need to also mention Pepsi in the same post. It was Pepsi who introduced the 24 pk cube, 24oz pet 6 pk. though I am not 100% sure I would also say that Pepsi was the first to bring a bottled water brand national with Aquafina. Pepsi also brought 18pk 8 oz, a ton of brand extensions ( albeit most didnt work out), frappuccino, and the list goes on. to mention coke just because you tend to like cokes products is so biased. I am in agreement with the other posts in red bull being a true innovator in the beverage industry. I would also mention Clearly Canandian, snapple and also Gatorade (even though the three really havent done anything but be passed from owner to owner in the last 5 or so years). these three also did what redbull did in taking something that noone had heard of and making themselves into a international thing for lack of a better term.

[ 03-19-2004, 09:31 AM: Message edited by: the saint ]

03-19-2004, 10:49 AM
boylan's and west jeff. without people like them, we'd all be a lot thirstier.

03-19-2004, 12:45 PM
I agree with West Jefferson. Bucking the trends and doing things nobody else does anymore can be called innovation. I do not see Red Bull as progressive, they are just bringing a product thats been around awhile to new markets. Gotta admire all the cash they are bringin in though.

03-19-2004, 02:47 PM
Despite our dislike of JONES SODA you have to admit that they try to be real innovators. Especially with flavors. Turkey and gravy, etc....

03-20-2004, 02:42 AM
I would have to say 1980's coke exc. board.It takes serious sack to Drop your flagship product on the brink of passing the century mark of release and adding a product that tastes nothing like the original and clearly like the flagship product of the closest selling company to yours for the sole purpose beating them in sales going head to head with a product that rivals there products flavor.These days the coke company has lost that drive and cost cutting measures like 90% plastic bottles in place of glass & HFCS in place of sugar along with ending the production of the syurp new coke or Coke II have been the end of trying to play hardball and just rooling along with the safe tread of the day.Which is also why unless the buzz of sales of new Pepsi Edge are above par for a product the coke company will not use splenda in a cola.Which is why it seems that after 118 years Pepsi new really seems to have the edge

03-20-2004, 04:21 AM
While I'm not really a fan of Pepsi I do give them some credit for trying new things and bringing out new flavors. Of course I poke fun at them too for bringing out flavors that seem like they didn't even go through a taste test before being released, Josta and Pepsi Blue being two examples.

I see Coke as a company now that really thinks things through when coming up with new flavors and they seem to be much better at getting the formula right. Vanilla Coke came out and sold like gangbusters while Pepsi's rushed to market vanilla is just sort of there and isn't doing much of anything, at least in this part of the country. Pepsi Blue pretty much bombed everywhere it went and quietly disappeared from store shelves. Sure the flavor has its fans but it didn't hit critical mass.

Pepsi did make the right move in re-introducing Mountain Dew Livewire. The product fits nicely into the product line and sold very well in my part of the country, where the ad campaign stated that it would only be available for the summer of 2003. Now that it's back in stores it's getting more shelf space at convenience stores than MD Code Red.

I see Pepsi launching all these new products as them grasping at straws just hoping to have something make it for a change. I can't blame Coke for being extra careful in their decisions after what they went through when New Coke came out. I'm sure that when Coke came out with Coke Classic they went to the "syrup making machine" and broke the knobs off just so no one could change the formula ever again.

03-20-2004, 01:45 PM
True innovators are those small companies without deep pockets that have managed to survive in a winner takes all environment like the beverage industry. We need not look no further than that of what history has taught us. What comes around goes around just with a prettier dress. Much of what coke has in development is far removed from the US view. They test it all abroad like salad water in china? Ya it didn't work thus we never knew they where that far out there or that far off course. Pepsi has not necessarily been as innovative as they have leveraged core assets to push their agenda and at times over paying for several brands in recent times trying to one up coke at a steep cost. The true innovation in the future will not necessarily come from new innovations as much as evolution of accepted categories and improvement of packaging making it more functional and user friendly. Need I say fridge pack?

Here is a comment heard from Pepsi along which resounds their typical big cola arrogance "the smartest beverage innovators are in Purchase, NY and if they didn't create it, it will probably never work." Hello open your widows and smell the winds of change. Some times we breath our own BS for so long we begin to live it.

My recommendation to the big colas is this. Take note from the tech industry innovation medium. Create an incubation for new and innovative talent and their brands and then utilize the Doug Ivester rule take 49% interest with options and watch the true wheels of innovation deliver you what the world needs now and begin to understand more innovation has come from working class Joe who is far more in touch with consumers than has ever come from within your walls. It makes so much sense yet the big guys fear innovation, and that fear itself is their egos being stood up. What the hell is the difference if you are on the ground floor of the next Red Bull.

As far as Cadbury is concerned they have way to much they need to sort it out per what the public wants. I.e. why push Welchs and Sunkist down the throats of soda loving fans when its the Nehi and Crush everybody really wants. If you stop talking to yourselves long enough you might hear what real consumers have been telling you for some time now.

Last point is this. I would recommend that everyone get the newly released book from Constance L, Hayes: The truth the lies the greed of Coke. This is an eye opener and the root of all beverage evil, the corporation not the brand and that my friends is it in a nut shell. Don't blame the brand it's the people that ruin it for the rest of us to achieve the American dream as entrepreneurs and innovators at large. Can you say anti trust? Oh yes you can read it............