People have been making and eating pizza for centuries. The technology for making pizza dough or pizza crust is well known to most of us. It is a form of bread after all.
We need the right materials for our pizza dough: flour, water, salt, oil or fat and yeast or leavening.
And we need processes to knead the dough and the patience to let it rise in some cases.
Then, we need tools to roll or shape the pizza dough to form the pizza crust.
Of course, we also need toppings: cheese, meats, vegetables and others.
Next, we need to bake the pizza dough.
Finally, we need to cut, package, deliver and serve the finished pizza product.
Straight forward. Simple. Well known. Right?
Surprisingly, it is NOT as simple as you may think. The technology – though thousands of years old – is still evolving. Today (as of April, 2011), we can see the changes by observing and measuring patenting patterns. From the patenting patterns, we can build a technology landscape and a strategic technology assessment. They tell the story so that both technical and non technical managers understand the risks of new product development in this “well understood” food product area.
Today (as of April 2011), there are 3100+ patents (US, EP, WIPO, Japan) that describe recent advances in pizza dough or pizza crust technology. By categorizing, segmenting and visualizing the patent landscape, we can SEE the technology development hot spots and build a strategic technology assessment to guide new product development decisions. The hot spots in pizza dough or pizza crust technology today are NOT in the areas I expected!
• It isn’t much of a surprise to find Kraft, General Mills and other food companies in the pizza dough or pizza crust technology landscape, but would you have guessed that we would find Solarzyme, a renewable energy company? How are they connected? Are they a serious competitor? What is their focus? Is this a mistake? NO!
• Would you expect pizza dough or pizza crust technology to connect with health and obesity? Yes, I would. How does this health trend mesh with trends in fats and oils? Not the way I expected!
• In the pizza dough or pizza crust strategic technology assessment, would you expect to see databases and internet automation? I didn’t expect it, but I should have.
• What’s new in leavening? Genetics.
• What else? Check the model.
You are welcome to view the technology landscape model by clicking on the arrow above and filling in the very short registration form. There is no cost.
Also, you are invited to follow our exploration of the pizza dough or pizza crust technology landscape on Emerging Tech Insights’
For the lawyers, all our usual disclaimers apply. Most importantly, the observations and comments do not constitute management advice and we urge you to consult with competent legal counsel and assume no responsibilty for your reliance on this material.