Channel innovation and more: the Dr Oetker & Pizzamatic case

Have you heard about Pizzamatic?

Take an equipment company. Add a strong German deep-freeze pizza brand. Let it cook for years. Et voila! You get an automatic Dr Oetker pizza machine.

My Italian ancestors would certainly be turning themselves in their graves, if they knew that! But still, it’s interesting from an innovation standpoint. You were drinking coffee from a machine, so why not eating pizza similarly?

First of all, it is a channel innovation. I assume that Dr Oetker was facing increasing competition in supermarkets. They surely needed to extend usage in untapped territories. But it is not the first automatic pizza machine in the market. So where’s the magic? I guess it is “the Intel inside effect”, the¬†association¬†with Dr Oetker brand that consumers already trust. Besides, the promotional video also highlights many convenience benefits for the user (the pizza lover) and the intermediary (the machine owner who has to refill pizza and clean the device). Finally, the strategic positioning is very clear. The target is high traffic places where people have limited time, such as airports, train stations and universities. By the way, as an innovator, you should not only convince the pizza lovers but also the high traffic place owners (the channel). They are the real first line customers. If they don’t like you, nobody will see you…

I have not tried it, but hopefully after five years technical development and two years market testing, the technology should work.

In any case, they seem to have many ingredients for a success recipe!