Three more special innovation workshops are being held to help Scottish food and drink businesses in advance of major events due to take place across the country next year.

Following a successful initial event in Edinburgh, sessions will take place in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee over the next few weeks.

In 2014 Scotland will host the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles

There will also be the “second edition” of Homecoming – a year long celebration of the country’s food and drink, culture, heritage and natural resources.

This all presents a fantastic opportunity for Scotland to show its superb larder to the world, and for food and drink companies to take advantage of the business opportunities the year will bring.

Scottish Enterprise, in partnership with the 2014 Food and Drink Team, aims to support food and drink businesses through the workshops.

The aim is to help businesses to drive additional sales, engage new customers both at home and abroad, sell more products to existing customers, enhance their reputation and raise their profile.

The workshops will focus on five key areas you need to be proficient in to develop your new products or packaging:

  • Market analysis – understanding more about consumers’ trends and opportunities
  • Ideas generation – using systematic tools to create and develop your ideas for new products or packaging
  • Concept development – Developing and selecting most viable ideas, matching customer needs with what is technically feasible (product, resources, timescales).
  • Packaging Development – consider new packaging options and processes to evaluate them with input from a packaging expert.
  • Business Development – planning your business case to convert your idea into customer value and market opportunity including marketing via social media to reach 2014 visitors both while they are in Scotland and when they return home.

You will leave the workshop with an individual action plan of practical steps needed to achieve and commercialise your new development idea.

Scottish Enterprise said that up to 45,000 visitors are expected daily at the Ryder Cup event and a million tickets are up for grabs at Glasgow 2014. 
It’s anticipated that visitors to Scotland in 2014 will spend almost £33 million on food and drink. Scottish Enterprise research shows that visitors want to taste traditional Scottish dishes, regional specialities and fresh, locally sourced produce during their time in the country.

The free innovation workshops will feature leading industry experts explaining how to create and develop ideas for new products or packaging aimed at the market opportunity in 2014 and beyond. 

The workshops will help businesses to gain an understanding into consumers’ needs and desires for your product, and to find out how this can translate into effective development of market-ready products or packaging. 
Sessions on marketing and promotional activities to help maximise return on investment. Experienced innovation specialists will also be on hand at the workshop events to help projects achieve maximum success.

The free workshops are open to all food and drink companies operating in Scotland.
Free one-to-one advice will also be available from innovation specialists for businesses who might feel that the innovation workshops are not for them. The Innovation Specialist Advisers will follow up with companies who require additional support.

The workshop dates are :

28 May Glasgow – New Food and Drink Innovation Workshop – at The Lighthouse, Glasgow – book here

6 June Aberdeen – New Food and Drink Innovation Workshop – atPorterhouse Restaurant, Thainstone Centre, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire – book here

27 June Dundee – New Food and Drink Innovation Workshop – at SE Office Dundee – book here

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