- The Grocery Manufacturers Association presented McCormick and Pinnacle Foods with the 2016 CPG Awards for Innovation and Creativity on Saturday at the GMA Leadership Forum.
- GMA recognized Pinnacle for its Duncan Hines Perfect Size platform and McCormick for its McCormick Herb Grinders.
- The GMA Advisory Council selects each year's innovation winners based on "their creativity and willingness to take risks, resulting in measurable results and significant impact on the industry," according to a news release.
Both innovation-award-winning products for 2016 aligned packaged food with consumer preferences of convenience and freshness.
With the Duncan Hines Perfect Size line, Pinnacle addressed the changing market dynamic of smaller households and consumers' desire to avoid leftovers. By creating smaller portion sizes appropriate for smaller families, Pinnacle contributes to the reduction of food waste on the consumer level. The company also responds to consumers' demand for convenience by providing not only the cake mix, but also icing and cake pan needed to prepare it.
These innovations are crucial for the baking mixes category, which has seen sales tumble in recent years. Simpler ingredients have been one solution that companies, particularly startups, have pursued, but making baking products more convenient and less wasteful was enough to catch GMA's attention.
McCormick also embraced the concept of convenience through its Herb Grinders by combining the utility of packaged food with consumers' desire for the flavor and aroma of fresh herbs. The technical components of the product's mechanism set it apart from other seasoning innovations on the market, which often focus on exotic flavors to entice consumers' palates.
This innovation, along with a recent acquisition of chilled packaged herbs brand Garden Gourmet, has enabled McCormick to better compete with producers of fresh herbs and spices. It also demonstrates how manufacturers can blend the benefits of both fresh and packaged foods to create innovations that resonate with today's consumers.