Sinks and taps giant Franke has held the first edition of its ‘thought leadership’ event – Think Next – at its headquarters in Aarburg, Switzerland.
The one-day summit focused on innovation and trends in the food industry and featured presentations on cuisine, design, consumer behaviour, architecture, sustainability and technology.
The event was attended by 500 industry guests, including UK retailers and offered expert panel discussions, insight sessions and trend labs. A food festival with stands from all over the world rounded off the day.
The inspiration for the event was Franke’s commitment to its ‘Make it Wonderful’ campaign, which the company said is now ingrained in its corporate strategy and business culture.
“Digitalisation is the big topic nowadays,” explained Franke CEO Alexander Zschokke (pictured). “It’s all about ‘Big Data’, algorithms, Industry 4.0 or artificial intelligence to name a few. Those are also big topics for us, naturally. Yet we never forget that at the core of what we do, there are always, and foremost, emotions.
“Our brand has many touch-points with people’s everyday life, so we aim to engage in discussions and involve people that inspire us. This is what we do at the summit and where we find the insights and vision that lead us to where society as a whole will move.”
Highlights of the event included presentations by Marius Robles, CEO and co-founder of Reimagine Food, and Stephan Sigrist, head of food technology company WIRE, who presented, ‘The Influence of Technology on the Future of Cooking’. Both agreed that “a revolution is near”, and that smart devices and machines are shaping new ways of cooking, eating and shopping.
“This event was all about how we think about the future of cooking, eating and living,” concluded Zschokke. “Yet, we also believe that it is important for us to know what real people will eat, and how they will cook and live in ten years’ time. We do indeed crunch numbers, but we are also bringing ‘Big Data’ to life. We want to create wonderful moments, so we need to start with the real-life experience of our customers.”
- For more news and interviews from the event, see November’s international edition of kbbreview