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Is the peanut butter Pop-Tart innovative?

At Sozo Design, in addition to developing forward thinking products with the latest material innovations, we also like to play with food and we love peanut butter. That's why we worked with 7-Eleven to create the PJ Roll: a unique, easy to carry peanut butter and jelly sandwich wrap. We like to see innovations in the food industry, and we were interested to learn that one iconic brand was getting a small upgrade.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Kellogg's has released a peanut butter Pop-Tart. Known as the "Gone Nutty" Pop-Tart, this item is being hailed from within the company. In fact, Kellogg's CEO John Bryant went so far as to call it an "innovation."

Is it? Wall Street Journal contributor Dennis Berman has his doubts. Noting that the new product is little more than a normal Pop-Tart with peanut butter filling, he questioned whether such a small change could actually be considered innovative. Instead, he suggested that the company was merely staying competitive by improving its product line.

Maybe this is true. There is a fine line between a simple product change and true innovation. But is it possible that Berman is defining the term too narrowly?

For example, a recent post on the blog "The Discipline of Innovation" argued that innovation means "executing new ideas to create value." Sometimes this innovation can be radical and different, but other times it can be more incremental.

In the case of the peanut butter Pop-Tarts, this is certainly an instance where demand for a new product will create value for the company. Like the best of new products, it took something that was familiar and added a new twist that would attract customers.

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