Without science-based innovation, we would not be able to answer ever-changing consumer demands.
Today, consumers are looking for product delight, which can be achieved by combining efficacy with a superior sensorial experience. Consumers are also demanding sustainable solutions, which create wonderful opportunities for new streams of innovation.
In 2023, we celebrated the 70th anniversary of P&G in Switzerland with the P&G Europe Innovation Expo — a unique opportunity to showcase how P&G has been improving consumers’ lives for decades and continues to be a key driver of innovation on the European market. As part of the Expo, we also invited experts into the Broadcasting Studio for the podcast series P&G Innovation Expo Live.
In Episode 1, Loic Tassel, President P&G Europe, explains how innovation has enabled us to both delight consumers and to grow as a business over the decades. “I see the increased demand for sustainable solutions not as a burden, but as an opportunity to create new innovative products, which make consumers’ lives easier. This mission has been an inspiration throughout my entire career at P&G,” Tassel said.
Innovation Expo Live Podcast | Episode 2: P&G’s Chief Research & Development and Innovation Officer Victor Aguilar Talks About Raising the Bar on Innovation to Achieve Irresistibly Superior and Sustainable Experiences
Victor Aguilar, Chief Research & Development and Innovation Officer, discusses how innovation is driving irresistible superiority that meets the evolving needs of our consumers. P&G will always be consumer-focused and consumer-inspired, while also driven by technology and science. The combination of both inspires irresistibly delightful consumer experiences, thanks to superior and sustainable products and packages.
“While delivering superior performance is at the core of every innovation journey, consumers are increasingly expecting us to be sustainable too. That’s why innovation and sustainability work hand in hand to deliver the irresistible superiority P&G stands for,” Aguilar said.
Analytics & Insights (A&I) brings the power of deep human understanding and combines with data, advanced analytics and technology to uncover and activate powerful insights to delight consumers and grow our brands. P&G’s Global Chief Information Officer, Vittorio Cretella, talks about AI and the power of the cloud, which provides both immense computing power and storage capacity. AI is helping P&G automate tasks or summarize information, leading to increased productivity and a reduction in complexity.
“Not only are we increasingly using digital as a component of the consumer value proposition, but I also see that in each of our categories, digital data and AI are used to foster and to accelerate innovation. It’s the only way if we want to continue fueling all the superiority dimensions,” Cretella adds.
Federica Pompei, Senior Vice President Femcare Europe, explains that since the COVID-19 pandemic, European consumers pay more attention to their overall well-being and that the importance of a good night’s sleep can’t be overestimated. However, up to 50% of consumers claim they’re unable to sleep well during their period.
“By offering consumers a specifically designed night-time product that offers them the same protection and comfort as during the day, Always is really addressing the specific needs of European consumers. Moreover, by implementing a reduce–replace–reuse strategy, the Femcare category has also considerably improved its sustainability profile,” says Pompei.
Eddie Sukari, Senior Vice President Fabric Care Europe, shares how consumers expect their laundry detergents to perform optimally, even at low temperatures. In Europe, nearly 60% of the carbon footprint created by laundry comes from heating water. Ariel PODS Cool Clean technology delivers superior stain removal, even in cold water. Aries is also raising the bar on sustainability with the new ECOCLIC® cardboard box, which is FSC-certified, made with over 70% recycled fibers, is fully recyclable, certified for child-safety and includes an inclusive design thanks to tactile markers and Navilens technology.
“If all European consumers turned down the temperature on their washing machine from 40° to 30°, it could save 3.5 million tons of CO2 per year in Europe. Switching from washing at 60°C to 30°C can also help to use 60% less energy per cycle, which saves a lot of money,” explains Sukari.
Vinay Ahuja, Vice President Analytics & Insights Europe, outlines the significant societal shifts in Europe that offer greater opportunities for P&G to meet their everyday needs. To better understand the unmet needs of tomorrow’s consumers, we use a broad range of innovative methods — from deep qualitative conversations to advanced passive observational methods — using digital tools. By unveiling that gap between the way consumers use our products and what they actually say about them, we’re able to constantly improve our consumer offerings and to better serve the needs of consumers throughout Europe.
Through sensors installed in consumers’ homes, we can observe and understand how they are using our products – the outcomes may differ from initial feedback about our products. By uncovering these gaps in insights and better understanding how consumers use our products, we’re able to continuously improve what our products can offer and better serve consumer needs throughout Europe.
“Homes are no longer just homes — they are also offices, well-being areas or gyms. This creates a lot of new cleaning needs, but also a desire for sensorial experiences. Even the packaging has moved from just a container to a unique unboxing experience, creating delight. Being able to capture and understand those insights, helps us to develop superior innovative products, which sets us apart from others on the market,” Vinay Ahuja adds.
Innovation Expo Live Podcast | Episode 7: Nahed Morcos, Senior Vice President Product Supply Europe, and Angelique Terrien, Vice President, Product Supply (Corporate Engineering) Sustainability Europe, Explain How Supply Chain 3.0 Provides Greater Agility, Flexibility, Scalability, Transparency and Resilience.
Nahed Morcos and Angelique Terrien touch on the tremendous challenges supply chains had to face in the last few years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine and the challenges that still lie ahead. The only way to face those challenges is through disruptive supply chain innovation — like robotics, automation and smart platforming. P&G’s Product Supply Innovation Center in Kronberg, Germany, serves as a hub for sustainability, innovation and collaboration with external partners to ultimately help develop solutions that are global, scalable and modular.
With Supply Chain 3.0, P&G is creating the next level of product supply — one that provides greater agility, flexibility, scalability, transparency and resilience. It’s based on real-time demand signals to serve the evolving needs of our consumers and customers, and it delivers competitive advantage for P&G.
Innovation Expo Live Podcast | Episode 8: Christian Kromme, Futurist and AI Technology Expert, Illustrates the Role of AI in Detecting Future Trends and Translating Those into Opportunities for Organizations
Digitization has become a critical factor in brands’ ability to develop superior solutions that can drive consumer and retailer preference, reduce costs and enable rapid and efficient decision making. To achieve this, digital strategies should be deeply integrated into the business, rather than simply ‘bolted on’.
To develop our digital fluency, accelerate innovation and increase productivity, P&G is investing in the power of the cloud, artificial intelligence (AI) and automation. Christian Kromme, Futurist and AI Technology Expert, explains AI and how it impacts the lives of consumers and organizations. As a futurist, Kromme also works to detect, categorize and translate future trends into opportunities businesses.
“AI is a technology that mimics the working of our cortex brain and manages complexity. Through posting daily keynote videos on AI and future trends, it is my goal to help people and organizations to get acquainted with them, to start adapting those new things as normal and to start using them as an opportunity, rather than seeing them as a threat. With new emerging generative AI technologies — like ChatGPT or Vision Pro — we are enabling ordinary people to do extraordinary things well,” says Kromme.