Bord Bia’s fourth annual Small Business Open Day was held recently providing an opportunity for small food producers to access information on the range of programmes and facilities available to support further growth and business development.

At this event, themed ‘Understanding a Changing Market’, Barry Murphy, Paganini, winner of the Innovation Award at Bord Bia’s Food and Drink Industry Awards in November 2013, discussed innovation as a requirement to meet consumer’s changing needs.

According to Orla Donohoe of Bord Bia, Murphy’s presentation outlined Paganini’s experiences in developing new innovative products.

“A family business in operation since the early 1990s, the company had successfully introduced a number of innovations in its core foodservice market to drive growth during the downturn,” she said.

“In 2012, they turned their attention to functional foods. Barry’s background as a physiotherapist and understanding of the clinical environment led to the development of Fitfuel, a protein ice cream, which was brought to market initially as a medicinal food and now also available as a performance product for elite athletes.”

Donohoe recalled Paganini’s philosophy on innovation, which follows a number of key principles: Start with an idea – innovation is not invention; Bend or reshape existing solutions or products to fit a market; There must be a market and it must be hungry; Have an innovation culture and don’t be afraid to fail; set goals: ultimate – product – process; be innovative in marketing – stand out; do different, do better; use sales interactions to test ideas constantly; monitor progress and persist