Several companies have looked to the consumer for innovation inspiration. PepsiCo, for example, has expanded its Lay’s Do Us a Flavor program in markets around the world, allowing consumers to pitch ideas for the next potato chip variety.
“You can use (limited-edition products) to let consumers co-create or at least think they are co-creating, and you can get an awful lot of very useful data on your consumers by doing that,” Mr. Jago said.
Similarly, last year Nestle partnered with food truck chefs to develop a line of Hot Pockets sandwiches with varieties inspired by popular menu items.
“We’ve seen many consumers interested in food truck cuisine, so that now can be translated to a Hot Pocket,” Ms. Dornblaser noted.