Case Studies

Open Innovation Brings Chef-Inspired Flavor to Green Giant Seasoned Steamers

June 21, 2013
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

For more than 100 years, the Green Giant brand has brought vegetables picked at the peak of perfection to dinner tables across the country, making nutritious vegetables even more delicious through unique combinations and a variety of sauces.

In early 2011, the Green Giant team at Minneapolis-based General Mills began exploring new ways to offer consumers great flavor without adding sauce or butter to its vegetables. While the Green Giant line already included a wide range of plain frozen vegetables and dozens of sauce-based varieties, consumer feedback consistently showed a preference for even more varieties of flavors and seasonings.

While the General Mills R&D team could have started from scratch, spending valuable time and resources to experiment with brand new formulations and flavor combinations, they instead turned to Burley Foods, Edina, Minn. By tapping into the company’s open innovation strategy, also known as the General Mills Worldwide Innovation Network (G-WIN), Burley Foods provided the know-how to help get the job done more effectively and efficiently.

In February 2011, the Burley Foods team brought in a highly-trained chef to demonstrate numerous new vegetable blends and recipe ideas to a group of cross-functional General Mills team members, from R&D scientists to marketing managers to consumer insights experts. The prototypes tasted great, so it was an Green Giant frozen veggieseasy decision to move forward and collaborate with Burley Foods on the new project, says Kate Gallager, R&D manager for Green Giant.

“From the very first presentation, we were excited about how Burley brought new ideas to life, while really thinking about how the prototype offerings complemented our existing product portfolio,” Gallager says. “The culinary knowledge of Burley’s chef provided the expertise we needed to bring more complex seasonings and unique vegetable pairings to Green Giant.”

Working together with the Burley Foods team, Green Giant was able to refine the recipes and develop a new, chef-inspired lineup of frozen vegetables—Green Giant Seasoned Steamers—what is said to be one of the first sauce-free seasoned frozen vegetable lines available. What could have been a tedious, time-intensive process experimenting with recipe after recipe in the culinary labs of General Mills was instead a mutually beneficial collaboration with an external partner company.

“The opportunity to partner with General Mills to create Green Giant Seasoned Steamers enabled Burley Foods to bring a new business model to our ingredient supplier partners and our customer General Mills,” says Mike Burley, owner of Burley Foods. “With the transparent clarity we received from General Mills’ marketing and R&D personnel, our Burley Foods team was able to leverage and guide the vast culinary and technical resources of our suppliers to find innovative ingredient solutions and arrive at the desired end product in record-pace time. We believe this model and our partnership with General Mills will be the blueprint for success in the future.”

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Refrigerated & Frozen Foods magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

OSI, 2014 Refrigerated Foods Processor of the Year

Find out how this global food provider secured a new supply chain global trading platform, opened a new culinary innovation center and continues to keep food safety top of mind.

Read cover story here.
Read plant story here.

WHEN MOTHER NATURE STRIKES...

What are some challenges your facilities face when it comes to snow, flooding, tornadoes, high winds, fluctuating temperatures and more?
View Results Poll Archive

THE MAGAZINE

Refrigerated and Frozen Foods Magazine

CoverImage

2014 March

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods' March 2014 issue features the 17th annual Top 150 Frozen Foods Processors report.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

The Refrigerated and Frozen Food Store

July 2013 Cold Packaging Materials Guide
Cold Packaging Materials Guide

A guide to cold packaging containers and materials.

More Products

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods Delivers

RFF Infographic 133x133Click here to see a snapshot of the many different ways Refrigerated & Frozen Foods delivers business and technology solutions to cold chain professionals.

Buyer's Guide

Visit our Buyer's Guide!

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods offers a Cold Packaging Materials Guide, as well as a Cold Storage Warehouse Guide, the most comprehensive listing of cold storage warehouses.

Visit the Buyer's Guide page today!

STAY CONNECTED

facebook_2014 twitter_40px youtube_40pxlinkedin_40px