Effective Innovation

//Effective Innovation
Effective Innovation 2017-05-09T10:49:25+00:00

Strategy and progress

Implementing the innovation and governability model structuring strategy.
  • The Corporate Innovation Committee was formed and started operating.
  • The Imagix model evolved into a version 2.0 and it was approved by the Corporate Innovation Committee.
  • The innovation capabilities were measured for Grupo Nutresa’s operation in Colombia, the gaps were identified and an action plan was defined.
Strengthening the innovation programs: “Éxitos Innovadores” (Innovative Success Stories), “Prácticas Ejemplares” (Exemplary Practices), “Soluciones Innovadoras” (Innovative Solutions) and Out of the Box.
  • Eight innovative challenges were launched.
  • The first Out of the Box project was launched into the market with positive sales results.
  • 3.919 Innovative Success Stories were acknowledged.
  • Four Exemplary Practices were rewarded.
Building Grupo Nutresa’s innovation projects portfolio.
  • The portfolios of each one of the businesses were submitted to the Corporate Innovation Committee, consolidating a full portfolio with clarity regarding the focal points and types of innovation.
Consolidating the knowledge management culture.
  • The Organization consolidated the tools that drive the incorporation, transfer and conservation of knowledge in the diverse businesses.


Supporting the achievement of the Organization’s strategic goals transversely by using the capacity for innovation as a growth booster, as well as the results achieved. For Grupo Nutresa, effective innovation consists in the correct understanding of the needs of both customers and consumers, which translates into products, services, processes or business models that contribute solutions and add value.

Risks and opportunities GRI 103-1

Colcafé innovation leaders, Medellín.

Grupo Nutresa identified as a risk the possibility of failing to read the changes in the Organization’s environment and context at the right time. Such changes could consist in legislations, provisions regarding packaging and wrapping, intensive use of resources, price and availability of raw materials and commodities, among other.

Therefore, it is a priority for the Organization to get aligned with the dynamics of its environment and context, and to understand innovation beyond the product. That is how forward-planning exercises have been transversely carried out in the diverse businesses and companies in order to act in advance and incorporate capabilities at the right time, be the leaders in the food sector, achieve a high level of differentiation, and establish trends. Additionally, the main gaps were identified in order to strengthen the capabilities and bring innovation to other fields.

There is a great opportunity in the implementation of the Imagix 2.0 innovation model in Grupo Nutresa’s strategic region with the aim of articulating the culture, the processes and the ecosystem, promoting intra-entrepreneurship initiatives, and allowing to obtain an ideal innovation portfolio, all of this based on the development and retention of the human talent, the organizational resilience and the knowledge management.

Finally, it is essential to strengthen the embracement of the innovation programs by the employees, bearing in mind that the human talent is the engine of innovation.


By 2020, besides the commitment to achieve innovation-driven sales equivalent to 15% of Grupo Nutresa’s total sales, the Organization seeks to achieve 0,3 Innovative Success Stories per employee.

The biggest challenge consists in continuing to apply and articulate the Imagix 2.0 model, ensuring the comprehensive management of both innovation and the portfolio of short, medium and long-term projects. Special stress will be laid on the innovation focused on social and environmental aspects, and the innovation-related incentives and acknowledgments will be reassessed.

Intra-entrepreneurship and extra-entrepreneurship will be incorporated into innovation management, and a global vision with local action plans will be developed. Furthermore, additional expert capabilities will be created for the development and incubation of long-term disruptive projects.

In search for a better profitability for the businesses, technological and differentiating alternatives will be integrated in order to reduce the dependence on high-fluctuation raw materials.

Finally, the Organization will have a better understanding of the lifestyles, consumption trends and aspirations and needs of both customers and consumers, which will allow the generation of new value propositions.

By dealing with these challenges at the right time, Grupo Nutresa will be able to maintain its leadership in the region and will be prepared to face any other challenges posed by the market.

Success stories and acknowledgments GRI 103-3

Cold Cuts Business Research and Development Center, Medellín.

The Colombian Administrative Department of Science, Technology and Innovation (Colciencias) carried out the call for entries for the Acknowledgment and Measurement of Research, Technological Development or Innovation Groups, in which the Cold Cuts Business was classified as category A, the Chocolates Business and Vidarium (the Nutrition, Health and Wellbeing Research Center) were classified as category B, and the Coffee Business was classified as category C. This represents an important acknowledgment of the experience and the products of the research centers.

Grupo Nutresa was acknowledged as a highly innovative company by Colciencias, which stated that its actions drive innovation in a systematic way by means of established processes, allocated resources and verifiable results.

Evok is highlighted as a successful case, as it is a disruptive innovation project from Grupo Nutresa’s Out of the Box program that proposes a business model that moves away from mass sales to offer an experience about niche products at points of sale in both shopping malls and electronic platforms. The results for the first month of sales surpassed the expected estimate by 500%. Additionally, EVOK obtained high levels of recommendation, repurchase and recognition by the customers.

Evok point of sale in Medellín.

Progress achieved in 2016 GRI 103-3


Measurement of innovation capabilities: 54 key variables were measured for the development of capabilities and innovation culture. A score of 3,57 out of 5 was obtained, identifying strengths and improvement opportunities to be incorporated into the innovation management.

Innovation culture programs: “Éxitos Innovadores” (Innovative Success Stories): participative program focused on the formulation and implementation of ideas. 3.919 Innovative Success Stories were achieved, which is equivalent to 0,22 per employee.

“Soluciones Innovadoras” (Innovative Solutions): program focused on fostering innovation by launching open challenges.

  • 8 challenges launched, for a total of 47 since the start of the program.
  • 144 solutions submitted.
  • 909 participants.
  • 36 employees awarded.

Soluciones Innovadoras (Innovative Solutions) award, Compañía Nacional de Chocolates Rionegro.

Out of the Box: capital fund for projects of radical innovation. The development of four previously selected and rewarded projects continued, achieving the launch of one of them into the market with a focus on product and business model innovation.

“Prácticas Ejemplares” (Exemplary Practices): program that recognizes management experiences and projects with superior results which are replicable in other Businesses and units of the Group. Four Exemplary Practices were awarded in 2016:

  • Neutralization of the carbon footprint of the brands Livean and Zuko by Tresmontes Lucchetti.
  • Carbon Neutrality Statement for the Chocolates Business plant in Costa Rica.
  • “Fiesta” co-creation model, Comercial Nutresa self-service channel.
  • Superior knowledge on customers and consumers through Novaventa’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Grupo Nutresa’s “Prácticas Ejemplares” (Exemplary Practices) Awards, first semester. | Grupo Nutresa’s “Prácticas Ejemplares” (Exemplary Practices) Awards, second semester.

Innovation promoters: Grupo Nutresa has 362 employees trained in innovation tools, who support different creative processes in their businesses.

Tresmontes Lucchetti’s innovation promoters, México.

Research Awards: the sixth edition of the Grupo Nutresa Research Awards was held in 2016, which seeks to promote the research culture and its consolidation as a fundamental process of the Imagix model, as well as to continue to strengthen the intellectual capital of the Organization.

Eleven research projects were submitted to be subsequently evaluated by academic peers; the four with the highest scores were awarded:

First place:

  • Mathematical model for predicting the shelf life of biscuits using an effective dynamic method to obtain the isotherm adsorption (Dynamic Dewpoint Isotherm –DDI–) developed by the Biscuits Business.

Second place:

  • Application of supercritical fluids for the removal of cadmium from cocoa beans, an innovative alternative in the food industry developed by the Chocolates Business.
  • Corona flour customers as a research subject of the Biscuits Business.

Third place:

  • Approximation to the model of the hardness of a processed meat product from the protein fractions of the meat developed by the Cold Cuts Business.

Awarding of the Sustainable Nutresa acknowledgment to the Biscuits Business.

Sustainable Nutresa: the Organization held the third edition of the Annual Sustainability Event, which recognizes the “Éxitos Innovadores” (Innovative Success Stories) that have had a positive impact on the sustainability of the business in one of its three dimensions (economic, environmental and social), and might be replicable in other Grupo Nutresa’s Businesses. The event featured nine success stories, three of which received awards in acknowledgement for their positive impact on sustainability.

Awarding of the Sustainable Nutresa acknowledgment to the Biscuits Business.


Forward planning

It is a strategic tool that allows the Organization to visualize long-term scenarios and growth axes to manage its strategic plans. Over the past year, eight forward planning exercises have been completed for the Chocolates, Ice Cream, Cold Cuts, Biscuits, Pastas and Coffee Businesses, as well as for Servicios Nutresa and Grupo Nutresa’s commercial networks (Comercial Nutresa, La Recetta and Novaventa). The challenge scenarios and the deliverables required for their use in the prioritization process of plans and strategies were prepared.

Compañía de Galletas Noel employees, Medellín.

Intellectual property

Intellectual property allows to protect and preserve the knowledge created, to identify fundamental technological trends in planning and forward planning exercises, and to reduce risks of infringement of third party titles. Its surveillance makes it possible to establish the frontiers of knowledge on competitors. The intellectual property maintains the competitive advantages and is highly relevant within the Imagix 2.0 innovation model.

In process
Industrial designs

Open innovation:

In 2016, Grupo Nutresa continued to work on the consolidation of its ecosystem of innovation and collaboration with external agents, who have provided knowledge, method and resources for the creation of new products and processes. Approximately 17 initiatives were developed with third parties (universities, suppliers, customers, among others).

Strategic surveillance:

The Technological Surveillance Department trained 48 new analysts in capturing, identifying, interpreting and analyzing signals and trends in the Organization’s environment.Likewise, the Organization supported the forward planning exercises of the Coffee, Pastas and Chocolates Businesses, the commercialization companies, Servicios Nutresa and Tresmontes Lucchetti, and participated in the exercises focused on identifying trends and analyzing scenarios.


In 2016, the Organization consolidated the tools that drive the incorporation, transfer and conservation of knowledge in the Businesses, such as “Aprendiendo con el experto” (Learning with the expert), “Lecciones aprendidas” (Lessons learned), transfer of good practices, conversation sessions, events for generating knowledge, knowledge maps, among others. Likewise, the management of the synergy communities and their evolution was supported through their monitoring and presentation in the different meetings held during the year. Finally, the Organization strengthened its knowledge management culture through different events and by using technological tools such as Campus Nutresa, where different communities have been created around various topics of interest.

Synergy communities meeting: annual event aimed at connecting the synergy communities with their essence and origin, and in which they are reminded of the objectives for which they were created. It is a meeting that favors integration with the purpose of presenting the results and challenges of the following year, as well as an environment that invites to reflect on various topics and promotes a healthy communication.

Annual Synergy Communities Event, inspired by the UBUNTU philosophy: I am because we are.


Implementation of the innovation strategy

During 2016, the Organization continued to work on the implementation of the innovation strategy and approved the Imagix 2.0 model, which was defined based on the gaps identified in the innovation measurement. It articulates the capabilities with the purpose of achieving long-term sustainable innovation, strengthens the current programs and aims at a portfolio strategy and at the management of the innovation ecosystem.

Innovation in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index

For the sixth consecutive year, Grupo Nutresa was part of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In the innovation chapter, the Company stood out as one of the top companies from the food sector thanks to its practices in innovation management, and research and development.


The Organization allocates significant economic resources and human capital to drive innovation. The R&D+i investment for 2016 totaled COP 39,92 billion, equivalent to 0,5% of the sales, and is supported on 204 employees who are exclusively dedicated to innovation.