The largest food company in the world with the world’s largest food research budget, Nestlé, chose to become member of Danish Food Cluster – a gift that keeps on giving, according to Nestlé’s Danish Head of Communication.
“It’s like a snowball effect,” Martin Broberg, Head of Communication and board member at Nestlé Denmark, points out.
The doors that Danish Food Cluster has opened for Nestlé, since Nestlé joined the cluster for approximately three years ago, has resulted in new doors opening. Like when Nestlé’s CEO was invited to speak at the Danish Food Cluster event A Great Day for Food Innovation:
“After that we got a lot of inquiries and contacts – valuable contacts. And that’s the case every time we do something with Danish Food Cluster,” Martin Broberg explains.
“The speed that Nestlé is running at right now, where we are invited to more than we can overcome – that is mainly a spillover effect from our Danish Food Cluster membership.”
The octopus of the Danish food hub
Danish Food Cluster covers startups, SMEs, large companies, knowledge institutions, universities, NGOs and organisations from the Danish food industry – a member base that currently represents 75 percent of the turnover of the industry.
Danish Food Cluster can be described as a octopus of the Danish food hub, according to Martin Broberg
“A strength of Danish Food Cluster is the wide network. Going from a small network in the Danish food hub to today covering universities, companies, entrepreneurs, students and NGO’s. This is due to our membership of Danish Food Cluster.”
Nestlé has over 5.000 researchers working on 29 research, development and technology facilities worldwide.
The engagement in the cluster activities is key to getting something out of one’s membership was a point by Martin Broberg:
“My recommendation to other members is to engage, organize events with Danish Food Cluster, participate in activities – even small conversations that don’t seem important can lead to important collaborations in my experience. You have to be prepared to engage, but if you do so, you will get it ten times in return.”
Nestlé engages in several ways; an active member of the cluster networks and contributes with speakers from many parts of their organization for events. Nestlé also collaborates with Danish Food Cluster in the creation of news types of events, like Food & Millennials from January 2019, which gathered students and industry members to discuss the Millennial as a consumer.
“Nestlé is a great example of how members can benefit from each other. Nestlé has a huge knowledge asset, which they share with the cluster, and they get new insights and partners in return. Facilitating that is exactly the role that we want to play,” says Lone Ryg Olsen, CEO, Danish Food Cluster
The focus on innovation is what got Nestlé to join the cluster in the first place:
”Innovation is part of Nestlé’s DNA. We invest a lot in research, and we have a lot of knowledge that we want to give to the cluster members. In return Danish Food Cluster is a way for us to keep our finger on the pulse and receive a lot of knowledge,” says Martin Broberg.