Agile Innovation Update – October 2015

Each month we bring you the FreshMinds Agile Innovation Update. This month we’re looking at the UK’s first 3D printed sweets and their implications for product development, the latest in Amazon’s quest to bring its grocery delivery service to Britain, how Visa is innovating within the wearable technology space and bank profits under threat from fintech disruptors.

3D printed confectionery becomes a reality

Katjes Fassin is set to bring 3D printed sweets to the UK, with plans to introduce the technology to retail outlets by early next year. By allowing customers to customise their gummy sweets, the firm will be able to tap into consumers’ growing desires for both personalisation as well as engaging experiences in-store. But the implications of 3D printing confectionery and food go much further than simply meeting consumer needs. With the technology enabling firms to create edible prototypes rapidly, 3D printing could transform the speed at which new products are brought to market. To find out more about the implications for new product development, read our CEO Caroline Plumb’s thoughts in her latest blog post. 

Amazon begins quest to bring its grocery delivery service to the UK

Amazon has taken further steps towards establishing its grocery delivery service in the UK. The company recently gave Prime Now customers in Birmingham the opportunity to order from a selection of 50 frozen and chilled food products and have them delivered to their homes within an hour. This range of items, which comes as an addition to a selection of “essentials” that Prime Now already offers, has sparked rumours that Amazon is looking to launch its full-scale grocery delivery service, Amazon Fresh, in the coming months. Amazon is also said to be trialling a sharing-economy inspired service in Seattle, which allows people to sign up to make delivery jobs in their local area and could be used to power Amazon’s Prime Now service.

Visa leads the way with wearables

Visa made headlines at London Fashion Week after showcasing a wearable technology device that enabled guests to make purchases straight from the catwalk. The device, a designer ring with in-built NFC-technology, could be held up against items to facilitate payment. Whilst this particular device is unlikely to become common place, it does demonstrate that Visa is keen to innovate within this space. Just recently the payments company collaborated with students from Central Saint Martin’s College to imagine what contactless wearable devices would look like in the year 2020.

As much as 60% of bank profits may be at risk from competition from fintech startups

A new report from McKinsey suggests that as much as 60% of bank profits within 5 core retail businesses are under threat due to shrinking margins and competition from emerging fintech challengers. Profits within consumer finance, mortgages, small-business lending, retail payments and wealth management are said to be at risk. To survive, banks either need to make better use of their data resources or start collaborating with startups says McKinsey. This warning comes as ever more challenger brands look to enter the UK market. German digital bank Fidor, for example, launched in the UK last month.