VIRTUAL INNOVATION Lessons from the Pandemic

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It’s true: necessity is the mother of invention. Over the past year, consumers have created all kinds of new ways to shop, cook, and eat. Restaurants have shown unprecedented moxie. And we invented lots of virtual tricks to taste, tour, and share our creations with clients and consumers.  In fact, some worked out so well, they just may become a permanent part of our process.

Here are some of the ways we rose to the challenge:

RETAIL AUDITS: Yep, we kept it going with streamlined efficiency & safety considerations. Thank goodness the stores were open, with direct-to- consumer adding a wealth of inspiration. Being the eyes and ears for our Clients has been exciting in this rapidly changing retail & restaurant environment.

CHEF TASTINGS: Mask on, mask off. Our five-star chefs ate their way through rounds of competitive products in our socially distanced, well-ventilated kitchen. With spacing and airflow measures in place, they tasted their way to some incredible concepts.

CULINARY TOURS: If you can’t go to restaurants, we’ll bring the restaurants to you. From high-end French to micro seasonal eateries, gastropubs, and the world’s best steakhouses, we brought some of the city’s best chefs to our kitchen to share their menus, ideas, and inspiration. All real time & live streamed for our Clients.

PROTOCEPT DEVELOPMENT: Maybe you were lucky enough to get one of our carefully assembled boxes of samples delivered right to your door. If so, we hoped you loved tasting along virtually with our chefs.

FOCUS GROUPS:  Perfecting the art of packing and shipping, we sent product samples to consumers and social media influencers to make taste, rate, and discuss the products. All delicious. All virtual.

FOOD FIRST THINKING:  We didn’t let the pandemic stop us from creating and launching a slurry of new products during 2020. Our front-end, strategic approach drove innovation through the lens of culinary excellence, tipping trend- forward marketplace insight and top-level chef exploration into the NPD process to develop new products with better taste, function, and delight.  Here’s to an even better 2021 using new lessons and methods.



Hyde Park Group is a food and beverage innovation company providing services from concept through production and launch. Our approach unites marketplace and consumer research with five-star culinary to conceptualize compelling new products and renovate brands with food first ideas and executions. For further information, please email us at