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Smart trend scouting with 500,000 trend scouts

How DMK Group collects food trends and inspirations worldwide using the ITONICS Innovation OS



food trends
"The partnership offers us direct access to qualified scouts within the framework of ad hoc studies and deep dives with added value. What also distinguishes ITONICS from large consultancies or software houses is the competent and personal way in which projects are planned and implemented together."
- Kristin Mitlewski, Manager Innovation & Trends, Corporate Strategy, DMK

Worldwide trend scouting in multiple trend metropolises

The food industry is characterized by changing consumer demands and needs, individual trend developments in the regions and strong international competition.

Identifying weak signals in the business environment at an early stage and deriving new business opportunities is an essential part of DMK Group's successful innovation management.

ITONICS Crowd Inspirations DMK

Trend scouting at DMK

With 25 locations in Germany and the Netherlands and around 7,700 employees, the DMK Group is the largest German dairy company, processing milk into foods of the highest quality. With annual revenue of 5.8 billion euros, the DMK Group is also one of Europe's leading companies in the dairy industry.

  • No own worldwide trend scouting network
  • Partially internal trend scouting activities & partially outsourcing of trend scouting activities to third parties
  • Limited resources in trend management
  • Time-consuming manual aggregation & documentation of trend scouting results in static documents

Objectives of a trend scouting platform

"With out trend management platform and the connection to a worldwide community of trend scouts, we can now respond quicker to changing consumer needs."
- Monique Veeser, Manager Innovation, Corporate Strategy, DMK


Trend scouting platform: Faster. Digital. Transparent.

In order to meet future challenges, DMK has been using the trend scouting tools of ITONICS since 2018 to scout global trends in the food sector and respond quickly to changing customer needs.

Trend Cluster - DMK Innovation Case Study

1. Qualification of trend scouts

In order to select the right souts in the network for the topics of nutrition and food trends, a screening takes place within the community. Therefor, scouts in the selected trend metropolises answer various questions on the topic and relevant trend information as examples. The best trend scouts are awarded a virtual badge and are then available to the DMK for this and future trend scouting studies.

2. Trend scouting

Once the study design has been set up, each trend scout receives a briefing and a questionnaire via their smartphones. The trend scouts have one week to answer it.

The trend scouts monitor their environment and descri- be which food areas are particularly innovative or what generally connects people in their metropolis with dairy products. In addition, the trend scouts provide targeted inspirations for new products, packaging or advertising in form of photos, videos, and textual descriptions.

3. Aggregation and analysis

At the end of the field time, all trend scouting results are automatically transferred to the collaborative online platform ITONICS Radar for further analysis. The impor- ted results are then analyzed with ITONICS Scout - a big data tool.

At a glance you can see which new trend topics have been identified across all scouting results. Using various filter options, individual trend cities can be selected and the results obtained can be analyzed separately.

With just one click, relevant results can be linked to exis- ting trend topics or campaigns on the online ITONICS Radar platform.


  • Within four weeks, 450 inspirations for 30 food trends were scouted in several trend metropolises.
  • All scouting results are available in digital form which enables automated analysis and further processing.
  • Semantic analyses and the digital linking of results to trend topics considerably reduce the manual effort involved in trend scouting.
  • All trend scouts are qualified in advance with regard to food trends and nutrition.
  • Sociodemographic data on trend scouts allow better interpretations of the results.
  • The entire trend scouting process from the first briefing to the final analysis of the results was reduced significantly.
  • Intermediate results of the study can be called up at any time by means of an automated import of the results. If necessary, readjustments can be carried out at short notice.
  • The scouting process can be controlled via incentives.
  • Individual results can be traced back to the respective trend scouts at any time.

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About DMK

With around 7,700 employees at more than 20 locations in Germany, the Netherlands and other international hubs, Germany’s largest dairy cooperative processes milk into food of the highest quality.

The product portfolio ranges from cheese, dairy products and ingredients to baby food, ice cream and health products. As one of the largest suppliers to the German food retail industry with a total revenue of 5.6 billion euros, DMK Group is one of Europe’s leading dairy companies.

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