FOODDUCK® bread spread dispenser is an innovative and responsible solution for serving various bread spreads on buffet tables. The dispenser is an ecological, hygienic and cost efficient alternative to conventional bread spread tubs or single portion packs. The innovation of a Finnish family-owned company has also garnered international interest. Patent and trademark protections lay a solid foundation for expanding the business across Europe and America.
All products by Foodduck Oy are manufactured in Naantali, “the sunniest town in Finland”. The products have been awarded the “Key Flag Symbol” and the “Design from Finland” mark as tokens of Finnish origin and Finnish production, quality, and expertise.
– From our company’s inception, receiving these symbols has been a matter of honour, points out Timo Sorsavirta, CEO of the company.
Timo Sorsavirta, CEO - Foodduck
Foodduck Oy was established in 2012. For the first three years, the company heavily focused on product development. In 2015, the market welcomed the successful outcome of this development – the first FOODDUCK® bread spread dispenser. Currently, the company operates not only in Finland but also in Sweden.
– Here in Finland, we have a core team of about ten people running the business. In addition, we have a large group of close partners and subcontractors. The Finnish team supports local sales in Sweden. We have acquired significant customers in Sweden; in fact, our biggest customer in terms of organization size is the vast city of Stockholm, says Sorsavirta.
Wholly new technology enables eco-friendliness and hygiene
The technology behind FOODDUCK® bread spread dispensers is completely novel and innovative. Using the FOODDUCK® bread spread disperser, waste from bread spreads is reduced by about 90%. With the advanced technology, packaging efficiency is maximized, significantly reducing wastage of bread spreads.
– The key benefits of the bread spread dispenser are not only related to the automated dispensing and the associated cost savings but also, for example, to the eco-friendly packaging of the bread spread and to the hygiene of the dispenser. The content of plastics needed for packaging is only 10% of the material required by conventional packages, and aluminium is not needed at all, summarizes Sorsavirta.
– Environmentally friendly and ecological aspects are also reflected in the fact that FOODDUCK® bread spread dispensers are designed for a full life cycle. We never sell the devices but they are always rented out as ‘product as a service’. Our entire operation is grounded in sustainable development, and with the life cycle model we make sure that our products remain in circulation as long as possible. In this respect, we are pioneers and at the heart of the circular economy, continues Sorsavirta.
Towards international markets
From its founding, Foodduck had envisioned that by the early 2020’s, a significant portion of all sales and revenue would come from international markets. The COVID-19 pandemic and the current global situation have introduced challenges to internationalization, but realistic growth targets and the next steps are already in sight.
– We are planning initial operations in a new European country in the near future, Sorsavirta reveals.
Currently, Foodduck’s technology holds patents in several European countries, as well as in the United States and Brazil. The first patent applications were filed shortly after the business was started.
– We got a tip about Berggren, I believe from the local ELY Centre, when discussing our desire to carry out some kind of a preliminary novelty search. We wanted to find out what kind of devices can be found in the world and whether it would be worth seeking patent protection for our own technology, recalls Sorsavirta.
– We spoke with Berggren’s Katja Mäkelä, and she immediately understood our vision. She started to carry out the search for us. It was a really good start to our collaboration. A significant aspect was that she instantly understood what we were thinking and we grasped her perspective, continues Sorsavirta.
Commercialization analysis supports internationalization
In addition to patents, Foodduck currently also holds a trademark within the EU region. Over the years, Berggren has not only taken care of the patent and trademark applications but also served as a consultant, particularly on trademark matters. They have conducted a commercialization analysis to support internationalization and the utilization of patents. Berggren ensures that all necessary registrations are up to date.
– The survey related to commercialization and identifying various business opportunities is a valuable background tool for us. It helped us ponder what a patent really means and what aspects of it might interest potential partners. You don’t always realize such things when you are too close to them – sometimes you need to step back to see the bigger picture, observes Sorsavirta.
Long-standing collaboration based on understanding the client
The partnership with Berggren has been continuous from the early days of Foodduck. Sorsavirta estimates that there hasn’t been a quarter of a year where they haven’t collaborated in some form.
– Our collaboration has always been smooth. Katja has been our contact for over 10 years, and we have gotten to know each other well. She understands us, our vision, and our products. She also has a solid technical grasp. Perhaps the best way to put it is that she always understands the client’s need, Sorsavirta remarks with a smile.
– From our point of view, it is good to get all the help we need from the same place. I would say that Berggren is one of our key partners and a part of our everyday life. I envisage their role to remain at least equally important, because we are clearly heading towards the international market, Sorsavirta sums up.
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