fbpx Innovation Insights | Seedlab Australia



Whether it’s a new business, a new product, a new service, or a new piece of art, there has to be an initial idea that triggers the cascade of events that need to happen between the idea and “something” that another person (a consumer), can interact with.
Where do ideas come from? What separates a good from a bad idea? What makes a really winning idea, win?

Appropriately for January, in Seedlab we have been focusing on innovation and new ideas. And because it’s Seedlab, and a lot of what we do relates to food and drink, we’ve brought some of the world’s finest innovation chefs in for a conversation about what they are noticing. We have had conversations about new trends, inspirational food and more, and heard presentations on these topics by Bazil Stander, Executive Innovation Chef Lead, Woolworths, and Jon Jones, Head of Culinary, Marks and Spencer, UK.


Bazil studies new developments in how food is grown, procured, produced and packaged around the world. You know that when Bazil points out something simple yet clever, and says “I wish I’d thought of that”, that there is something there to dig deeper into. Bazil focused on the use of artificial intelligence and modelling, illustrating how a number of companies are scouring plant chemistry and even Traditional Chinese Medicine databases to identify potential new winning flavour combinations, or seed varieties better suited to climate change. Trends related to more environmentally friendly packaging, and increased costs of living were also highlighted, as well as things that we are increasingly feeling the pinch of here in Australia, too. How this relates to product developments, and even communication of product features was very interesting. Finally: legumes are king!

“Bazil is the Obi-Wan Kenobi of the Food Trends Universe, taking me on a journey around the world and into the future. It was awesome!”

Fiona | Chocolate on Purpose

Diversity and Multi-Purpose Products

Applicable to many products was a timely reminder to call out the diverse benefits of your product in terms of trends the marketplace is seeing, and where possible to make your products as multi-purpose as possible. For example, what are the myriad of ways a simple tub of hummus can be used above and beyond ‘just’ a dip? Here are some: add some lemon juice or water and a bit of chilli or more cumin and it’s a sauce; add more chickpeas, some nutritional yeast and air fry balls to turn it into a savoury main; add some cauliflower, vegetable stock, chickpeas, and chilli oil and make a savoury soup. The possibilities are endless when you think outside the box and when you are aware of what people are doing. Does your product mean people can use less power to produce a meal? That’s pretty timely for many right now.

A Whole New World of Possibilities

Jon Jones and his product developer partner Egle Jones are half way through a 12 month global food tour. They shared the first of a two part presentation, documenting the culinary highlights they have tasted in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Columbia, Costa Rica, Peru and Bolivia. Jon heads up the world of cuisine at Marks and Spencer’s, arguably the UK’s first and finest provider of ready-to-consume sandwiches, meals, desserts and more. As product developers armed with experience and knowledge of how ideas become winning products, the combination of Jon and Egles’ insights mean that a simple cheesecake combining flavours and ingredients from different countries takes on a whole new world of possibilities for future products.
Jon and Egle also undertook a number of private “surgeries” with our Seedlabbers, talking through ideas to extend and develop their products.

“Jon and Egle both gave excellent insight. They are such a powerful couple that their advice really compliments each other. I particularly valued Egles thinking around the seaweed snacks idea and building on the flavours we already have, and Jon’s insight on seaweed and flavour pairing as a chef.”

Sarah | Alg Seaweed

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