The consumer industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by convenience, taste, and health & wellness, and the growing importance of technologies such as personalized nutrition, food waste reduction, and robotics. In the last three years alone, there have been over 662,000 patents filed and granted in the consumer industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in consumer: filled confectionery manufacturing. Buy the report here.

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However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilizing and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

30+ innovations will shape the consumer industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the consumer industry using innovation intensity models built on over 116,000 patents, there are 30+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, microencapsulated proteins, plant based cheese substitutes, and texturized vegetable proteins are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Botulinum toxin, beverage pods, and filled confectionary manufacturing are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are anabolic muscle supplements and protein-fortified beverages, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the consumer industry

Filled confectionery manufacturing is a key innovation area in consumer

Filled confectionery manufacturing is primarily used in sugar and baked confectionery to add flavour to the final food product. The fillings are usually in liquid or semi-solid form. The manufacturing process involves forming empty shells that are then filled with flavoured ingredients and allowed to settle by drying or refrigeration.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 240+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established consumer companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of filled confectionery manufacturing.

Key players in filled confectionery manufacturing – a disruptive innovation in the consumer industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to filled confectionery manufacturing

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Mondelez International 433 Unlock Company Profile
Mars 223 Unlock Company Profile
Nestle 172 Unlock Company Profile
Kraft Heinz 98 Unlock Company Profile
Cargill 67 Unlock Company Profile
Perfetti Van Melle Group 61 Unlock Company Profile
Roquette Freres 52 Unlock Company Profile
Lotte 42 Unlock Company Profile
General Mills 39 Unlock Company Profile
Wm. Wrigley Jr. 37 Unlock Company Profile
Suddeutsche Zuckerrubenverwertungs-Genossenschaft eG 35 Unlock Company Profile
Wellstat Management 34 Unlock Company Profile
Ingredion 28 Unlock Company Profile
Kraft Foods Schweiz 28 Unlock Company Profile
The Hershey 25 Unlock Company Profile
Sanofi 24 Unlock Company Profile
Gelita 22 Unlock Company Profile
Ferrero International 19 Unlock Company Profile
Sirio Pharma 19 Unlock Company Profile
Wuhu Runlan Biotechnology 18 Unlock Company Profile
British American Tobacco 18 Unlock Company Profile
Chr. Hansen 17 Unlock Company Profile
DouxMatok 16 Unlock Company Profile
Goli Nutrition 15 Unlock Company Profile
CJ 15 Unlock Company Profile
Yingshang Haoyuan Food 14 Unlock Company Profile
Symrise 13 Unlock Company Profile
Kobird 13 Unlock Company Profile
Cadbury 12 Unlock Company Profile
Gen Biscuit 12 Unlock Company Profile
RAG-Stiftung 11 Unlock Company Profile
San-Ei Gen F.F.I. 11 Unlock Company Profile
Vitalgaia Espana 10 Unlock Company Profile
Firmenich International 10 Unlock Company Profile
Anhui Zhilian Management Consultation 10 Unlock Company Profile
Anhui Baoheng Agriculture 10 Unlock Company Profile
TopGum Industries 10 Unlock Company Profile
Kao 9 Unlock Company Profile
Wuhu Sanshan District Green Food Industry Association 9 Unlock Company Profile
Maanshan Junjun Food Technology 9 Unlock Company Profile
Olygose 9 Unlock Company Profile
Meiji 8 Unlock Company Profile
Jiangsu Kanion Pharmaceutical 8 Unlock Company Profile
DuPont de Nemours 8 Unlock Company Profile
Reswine 8 Unlock Company Profile
Procaps Group 8 Unlock Company Profile
Hainan Yangshengtang Pharmaceutical 8 Unlock Company Profile
Givaudan 8 Unlock Company Profile
Uha Mikakuto 7 Unlock Company Profile
Li Hua 7 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Mondelez International is the leading patent filer in filled confectionery manufacturing. Some other key patent filers in the space include Mars, Nestle, Kraft Heinz, Cargill, and Lotte. Lotte Confectionery (now Lotte Wellfood), the confectionery wing of South Korea’s conglomerate Lotte, released a non-sugar snack brand “Zero” targeting the country's rapidly growing domestic zero-sugar product market in 2022. Products under the brand include chocolate chip cookies, chocolate bars, and frozen cola.

In terms of application diversity, Jiangsu Kanion Pharmaceutical leads the pack. Sanofi and Procaps Group stand in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Wellstat Management holds the top position, followed by Sanofi and Goli Nutrition.

Consumers around the world are increasingly looking for innovative food items that have unique flavours and tastes. Hence, leading food manufacturers will use filled confectionery manufacturing to launch new products with novel fillings to cater to a wide variety of consumers. 

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the consumer industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Consumer.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.