Case Study

Mead Johnson Infant Formula

Mead Johnson and Enfamil logosLeverage emerging science
to fill a 5-year
pipeline with new opportunities for
infant formula.

Objective: Develop new products and communications for a core infant formula brand that support growth and brain development.

Result: Thousands of ideas that filled the Mead Johnson infant formula pipeline for 5+ years, plus 4 business-building innovation pathways.

Background: Mead Johnson asked Ideas To Go to help them generate and develop ideas for new products—and communications—around "how formula can better support infant brain development." The Mead Johnson Nutrition team's challenge was to drive superior infant and children’s nutrition in a way that moms understood—and found engaging and meaningful. The team needed to align the scientific benefits to support their core Enfa™ brand, and translate this science into new product ideas. Their goal was to develop ideas for the next 5 years and beyond, leveraging analysis of consumer, societal, competitive, nutrition and technology trends.

To accomplish this, Ideas To Go planned a multi-stage project to gather ideas from a wide range of experts—including moms, scientists, professors and doctors. The first step was a Stim Panel held via web conference. Participants included:

  • A professor from the Institute of Child Development and the Center for Neurobehavioral Development at the University of Minnesota.
  • A Professor of Perinatal Neurology, and Consultant in the Department of Child Neurology at Robert Debré Hospital at Paris.
  • The Chief Health and Child Development Officer at the Children’s Trust of Miami-Dade County, and former president of the Florida Infant Mental Health Association.
  • The founder of Little Scholars LLC, a company that provides individualized services that promote early childhood learning experiences and educational development.
  • The US Program Director of Foresight Preconceptual Care.
  • A Futurist and lead instructor at the Futures Institute.

Each panelist gave a 15-20 minute presentation on their area of expertise, followed by Q&A with the client team members and 4 Creative Consumers® associates moms. They then generated ideas inspired by the session. 

This was followed by an ideation session with 6 health care professionals: a neonatologist, a pediatric NP, a clinical nutritionist working in a NICU, and three pediatricians. An additional ideation session included 8 Creative Consumers® associates: a mix of moms who breastfeed and/or use formula. They shared their experience, pain points, and wishes to suggest opportunities for infant formula.

Together these sessions resulted in:
  • Just under 3500 insights, wishes, new product + communications possibilities

  • 118 initial concept outlines, created by the Mead Johnson team

  • 107 prioritized idea statements

  • 40+ concepts developed + refined
  • 19 original concepts globally tested

  • 4 high-potential, business-building innovation pathways

Conference Presentation: The project was so successful, Ideas To Go facilitators presented at The Market Research Event conference with client Christopher McKinney, formerly Mead Johnson Nutrition's Market Research Associate Director. The topic: Research for Innovation: How To Turn Facts into Ideas.

Together, they led a packed room through their process of leveraging facts to generate new opportunities. The ITG facilitators engaged the audience in a hands-on exercise to practice using facts to generate new product ideas in a new category. McKinney presented the 360 degree participation methodology used during the project—and explained how the 3000+ ideas generated during the ideation phase were prioritized and honed into 19 concepts, that were tested around the world. As a result, the client team chose 4 high potential innovation pathways to build their business over the next 5+ years.


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