Schwan’s is a national, multibillion-dollar company that manufactures and markets many popular brands including Red Baron®, Tony’s®, and Freschetta® pizzas, Mrs. Smith’s® and Edwards® desserts, and Pagoda® Asian-style snacks.
Open Innovation Challenge:
Schwan’s is seeking plant-based cheese and/or pepperoni that performs and functions close to current frozen pizzas.
Reason for Seeking External Innovation Partnership:
Plant based products are on trend, but commercially available non-dairy cheese and non-meat pepperoni do not perform as well as traditional ingredients.
Scope of Solution Space:
- Acceptable solutions must have pronounceable, pantry friendly ingredient lines.
- Solution must have similar performance to pepperoni or cheese when processed and heated on a pizza.
- Pepperoni: color, appearance, mouthfeel, texture, taste
- Cheese: color, melt, stretch, taste, mouthfeel, texture
- Preferred solution would have comparable nutrition to traditional products and enable protein claim on front of package.
Innovation Solutions Not of Interest:
- Gluten as a primary protein source or texturizer
- Nut-based solutions