Platinum Lecture by Dr. Lilly D'Angelo: How to Innovate in Food and Beverage Industry
On November 13th 2018, SolBridge hosted its second platinum lecture this semester by Dr. Lilly D’Angelo, the president of Global Food and Beverage Technology Associates. She spoke to SolBridge students on the practical side of innovations in the food and beverage industry.
Dr. D’Angelo is an award-winning Research and Development/Quality Assurance leader with over 29 years of experience in the consumer product industry. Some of this experience includes Sr. Innovation Leader of Coca-Cola, Regional R&D and Regulatory Affairs Director for Unilever, Thai Services Limited and R&D Director for Dannon US. Throughout her career, she has gained expertise in enhancing brands and creating business opportunities by leveraging her leadership strength, technical skills and global innovation experience.
During the lecture, Dr. D’Angelo shared the challenges faced by big multinational companies including trust from consumers, changes in preferences, changes in the mode of communication with consumers, and attracting young talents in the workplace. She further highlighted the latest consumer trends in the food and beverage industry including green, natural and fresh as opposed to additives and preservatives. Dr. D’Angelo gave some successful case studies of innovations through breakthrough technologies a case in point “Activia” by Dannon US. Besides, she narrated her story of creating the Coke Zero brand while she was still Coca-Cola and emphasized the need for good marketing on every excellent product.
She later took participants through the basics of the innovation process and importance of the “Stage-gate process”, a project management technique through which new product development is divided into distinct stages. She emphasized project management and keeping the customers in mind as some of the critical elements of the innovation process. “Whether it is a big project or small project you need excellent project management skills for a project to succeed,” she said. The lecture was concluded with a Q&A session with the students on her experiences and innovations in the food and beverage industry.