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Unexpected Innovation: Coronavirus Support is Creating New Opportunities

By Amber Swanick,
Junior Account Manager
and Andrew Zenyuch,
Associate Creative Director


Some surprising heroes are emerging every day out of the COVID-19 crisis.

Manufacturers from every industry are innovating to ramp up production or convert facilities to produce essential materials and equipment to help combat the virus at every level.

A vacuum cleaner company designed a new ventilator in 10 days. A Formula 1 racing team designed a new breathing aid to reduce the number of ventilators needed. A children’s shoe manufacturer is now making masks.

Food brands are pitching in as well. Distillers around the nation shifted to make hand sanitizer. Brewers are turning expired beer into ethanol. Even extract manufacturers are among those innovating to help.

Yes – you read that right. An essential ingredient for tasty cookies is also providing life-sustaining products to retirement communities and hospitals.

Unexpected Innovation: Coronavirus Support is Creating New Opportunities

In an interview with Donovan, Shank’s, a local producer of flavorings and extracts like vanilla, almond and more, revealed that they’ve turned their “hot” side of the factory on 24/7 to produce a type of protein gelatin used to fill feeding tubes. As we know, feeding tubes and supplies are in high demand during the pandemic.

This is a transformative time for society and companies. Facing a nationwide emergency, Shank’s and the companies above found a way to provide essential services to serve the greater good.

Crisis inspires innovation – and the time to get creative is now.

No stone should be unturned for improvement. It could be cost cuts that last long-term, supply chain changes to keep shelves stocked, repositioning or optimizing a product to connect with audiences or pivoting operations to produce a non-traditional product that opens a new revenue stream.

These changes could be business-saving in the short term and become standard practice in the long haul. If the companies above can turn on a dime to help now, what other opportunities are available, both now and in the future?

Whether it’s an extract company becoming essential, or an internal change to better position the company in the future, now is the time for innovation, as the heroes above have demonstrated. What could your company be doing? We’d love to help you find out.