Ideas Welcomed

April 9, 2009
Add Campbell Soup to consumer products firms inviting innovation via the Web.

Campbell Soup Co. has joined the list of consumer products companies that are openly inviting consumers, inventors, scientists and others to submit ideas for new products, line extensions and other innovations. Submissions are accepted at a new Web site called "Campbell's Ideas for Innovation," which is accessible at

Prior to this Web site launch, Campbell did not have a mechanism in place for evaluating unsolicited ideas from that entrepreneur who wanted to get an idea into the company's hands, says Campbell spokesperson Anthony Sanzio. While he said no single event or incident triggered the company's decision to launch the site now, Sanzio said Campbell has come to realize that it needs to be more open to ideas from everywhere.

Indeed, in announcing the site's launch, Campbell Chief Strategy Officer Carl Johnson, said, "We are committed to improving our innovation results, and a key element in this improvement requires us to be open to ideas from both inside and outside the company. The Ideas for Innovation Web site is one of the ways we are accessing innovation from outside sources."

With this launch, Campbell joins such consumer products companies as Procter & Gamble, General Mills and Kraft in creating means to encourage innovation from outside a company's four walls. P&G is widely known for its Connect & Develop program, while General Mills' Worldwide Innovation Network (G-WIN) celebrates a second-year anniversary in May. Campbell's Sanzio says the company has put no specific goals in place regarding the number of legitimate ideas it would like to see from its Ideas for Innovation effort. "Right now we wanted to get the process in place," he explains.

Campbell Soup says ideas submitted through its Ideas for Innovation Web site will be evaluated by a team, which will determine whether the company has interest in pursuing the idea.

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About the Author

Jill Jusko

Bio: Jill Jusko is executive editor for IndustryWeek. She has been writing about manufacturing operations leadership for more than 20 years. Her coverage spotlights companies that are in pursuit of world-class results in quality, productivity, cost and other benchmarks by implementing the latest continuous improvement and lean/Six-Sigma strategies. Jill also coordinates IndustryWeek’s Best Plants Awards Program, which annually salutes the leading manufacturing facilities in North America.

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