Better Bowls and Penn State College of Medicine
A new packaged functional foods company, Better Bowls, located in Hershey, PA introduced nutritionally enhanced pudding and gelatin dry mixes in the retail market with a goal of helping the 50% of the US population trying to manage, treat or prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity. The first launch of the products in 2009 was in portion controlled cups. The clinical nutrition group at Hershey Med, through David Frankenfield, Chief Dietician, conducted focus groups from among its classes for specific groups such as weight management and diabetics. The groups provided important feedback to the company on packaging size, type and look.
Since the completion of this project, Better Bowls was able to optimize its packaging to emphasize the health benefits and create a more economic package that will benefit the consumer. Better Bowls has been commercialized across 10 states in the North East in major grocery chains including: Giant Carlisle, Weis, Stop & Shop and Giant Landover. It has products placed in selected Walmart stores and is working on plans for distribution into other grocery chains.
LVC Students Provide Innerlink with Digital Branding
Students from LVC's Digital Communications Capstone class worked on three separate projects with Innerlink, LLC and their executives. The teams worked with Dr. Rob Gillio, Dr. Mike Curley, and Bob Binford of LVC. The first project developed brand identity support for healthy heart initiatives creating the MyClimb.org website and various support materials. The second team worked with usability testing and design on Innerlink's Healthy-e-Tools for Schools--building a best practices blog, a social media page, and making recommendations to increase functionality. The final team developed a career portal including website design and refined content sources, created a website from conception through coding and performed usability testing to refine design and functionality.
Dr. Joel Kline, professor of Digital Communications, noted the success of the collaboration between students and Innerlink. "Our students had the opportunity to work with three very experienced executives in a small group setting. Students had the opportunity to develop their knowledge, skills, and abilities in project management, interpersonal communication, and collaboration. Since the projects were real, students experienced the pressure of producing genuine deliverables as well as the satisfaction of meeting their client's expectations. The climate created by using Innerlink and real projects was exactly what the Capstone class was designed to accomplish."
Manufacturer Taps Faculty for Trends in Health Care
Like many companies, Die-Tech was on the look-out to expand their competitive edge and expand into new markets. As part of that process, Die-Tech asked ITN to coordinate a brainstorming lunch with faculty experienced in the health care sector. Over lunch, an in-depth discussion around industry trends and innovation was the featured dish.
ITN tapped Penn State College of Medicine and Lancaster General College of Nursing & Health Sciences to find the right experts. Faculty at both academic institutions understand the need to be connected with industry and the importance of engaging directly with a company CEO. Faculty heard first-hand the practical challenges a management team faces from customers and competitors. In turn, the executives heard how new technology is being tried and tested by university experts, and the impact the new health care regulations are having at premier health care campuses.
The result of this industry insight being integrated in Die-Tech's market approach was an increase of $500,000 in new business added to the bottom line and more than a million dollars added to the sales pipeline.