Coca-Cola is outsourcing its R&D to the public

As consumers are constantly pushing for cleaner and healthier products, the beverage giant Coca-Cola is ramping up its efforts to uncover new non-sugar sweeteners for its portfolio of beverages and snacks. However Coca-Cola is taking a slightly different R&D approach with this project. The company has decided to outsource its R&D to the public to come up with a naturally sourced, low-calorie sugar alternative that mimics the taste of sugar.

Coca-cola has launched two sweetener campaigns on the HeroX platform, the first gives five individuals the chance to win $100,000 in prize money and the second is a grand prize of $1 million.

The first campaign is the ‘sweet story challenge’, which asks consumers around the world to submit written anecdotes and videos about their favorite methods of naturally sweetening foods and beverages in their cultures, communities or families.

The second challenge calls on researchers and scientists to find sugar alternatives that create the taste sensation of sugar when used in food and beverage. This challenge is the largest and offers the grand prize of $1 million which will be announced in October 2018.

The Chief Innovation Officer at Coca-cola believes that amazing ideas can come from anywhere and that it is vital to always search for newer and better ingredients. The two challenges are very much rooted in the company’s desire to make the drinks that consumers want to drink, and the company’s willingness to find sugar alternatives that help it deliver the great taste people love but in a health conscious manner.

Coca-Cola isn’t proving the be the only company to commit to reducing the amount of sugar in drinks, Dr Pepper Snapple and PepsiCo have also made similar pledges and companies such as KIND Healthy Snacks and Panera Bread have also been adamant about providing consumers with healthier options.

This inclusion of the public to finding solutions serves not only as a way to source new ideas but also to strengthen the brand and retain consumer trust.

Companies creating new knowledge on a global scale can apply for a federal or state R&D Tax Credit. To find out more about R&D and to assess your company’s eligibility, contact a Swanson Reed R&D Tax Advisor today. We look forward to speaking with you and guiding you through the R&D process.

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