Food Innovation Canvas

Using the model Food Innovation Canvas
Workshop in Kaunas, Lithuania 2019-09-19

The workshop was held at the Food Innovation Council Meetup & Food Innovation in Kaunas, Lithuania – a Toolbox seminar during the afternoon (90 minutes). The Business Model Canvas was first described by Alexander Osterwalder from Switzerland and has been used in a number of countries the last decade. Basically it is a management and planning tool with content such as infrastructure of the company, offering, customers and finances. The template consists of 9 boxes. A special Food Innovation Canvas was prepared beforehand (Appendix 1 and 2) based on the Business Model Canvas with activities connected to innovation. In each box you fill in activities, recommendations and reflections as asked. The workshop aimed at an understanding and exchange of experiences in different kinds of companies, research, consultants as well as project developers in the food innovation area.


The participants were divided into 7 groups with 5-6 persons/table. A facilitator instructed on how to use the blank sheets, filling in Post-it notes and adhering them to a Canvas sheet in larger format (A3). Different companies used different colours of the Post-it notes. After a period, followed a vivid discussion on each participants’ contribution. Finally, the facilitator concluded for the whole audience reflections/differences/similarities. The filled in canvases were collected after the workshop.


The filled in Canvas sheets were sorted in two groups. Urge for increased knowledge and good cooperation was a common wish for the two groups:
Group 1 consisted of a university, consulting firm, food clusters, information and tourism center, and incubator in Lithuania. Some common crucial factors for success were identified among many e.g. the importance of knowledge, ability to communicate and good cooperation. Meetings with partners, different exhibition and fairs, international cooperation and projects training of staff were all considered as key factors in developing food innovation.
Some voices from the workshop were gathered:
Key Resources: Lithuanian raw materials, science knowledge and human resources. (National Food Cluster)
Aim of the innovation: To change attitudes and include residents, turn on all the people and make them happier, include tourists in our activities. (Rietavas Information and Tourism Center)
Could something have been done differently? In a project with new properties of a product, the answer was: Maybe more clear discussion of expectations and what limiting factors there were, for example price and costs. (Kaunas University of Technology, KTU)
What did you do? 1. Identification of the problem. 2. Finding a solution provider. 3. Attracting of funding. (Smart Food Cluster)
Useful recommendations: Facilitation is vitally needed in promoting innovation among small-scale actors. (Rietavas Information and Tourism Center)
There is a lack of experts and good cases. (Smart Food Cluster)
Do not be alone in the innovation process, it is important to form a team. (KTU)
Dream Team: Multidisciplinarity (KTU), Good cooperation (Intra Vires).
Group 2 consisted of twelve Lithuanian companies. It seems like the companies represent many nice examples on sustainability and circular economy, using local raw material, waste recycling, saving energy, production on demand, using less plastic and more paper and bamboo material for packaging. Their key partners are very diverse: Farmers, Research Centre, consulting firms, sub-contractors, retailer suppliers, consumers, supermarkets, agents, importers, distributors, healthy food shops, local markets, chain stores, ingredient suppliers and shareholders.
Some voices from the workshop:
What is innovation for you? Innovation is the main business accelerator. (Marijos Trobelè)
Something that is newly made, creative, without even knowing what will come out of it. (Vilko Kombucha)
Useful recommendations: do not throw away even the strangest ideas. (Ruta)
Justify your product on the market and never give up. (Sveikatos Sauja)
What did you do? We follow trends, monitor the market and its innovations, experiment and create. (Satrijos Legenda)
Dream Team: Researcher, marketing specialist, food technologist. (Artruna)
Connect with universities and laboratories. (Ekofrisa UAB)
Wider collaboration with institutions. Own laboratory and laboratory assistants. International training of staff. Targeting the biggest supermarket chains in Europe. (Liutukas ir Ko)
R/D centers: an association of Hemp Businesses and a Hemp Tech Center would be very useful for our business. (Agropro – Borela)