Running Holland & Barrett's innovation engine

"We have a North Star, but how do we get there? And hence, Future Foundry comes in"

Established for over 145 years, Holland & Barrett is one of the world’s leading retailers when it comes to supplements, minerals, vitamins, specialist foods and natural beauty products. Synonymous with health & wellness and a staple to the British high-street, Holland & Barrett is a well loved and frequented establishment to health conscious shoppers who want to take the management of their health into their own hands through preventative nutraceutical and specialist products. 

The COVID-19 pandemic shed a particularly bright light on the importance of looking after ourselves and our immunities, with Holland & Barrett being recognised as an essential store that could remain open under severe lockdown restrictions. However, as we learn to live with the COVID-19 virus, consumers have not recovered or forgotten the importance of managing their health. Combine this with a challenging retail landscape, the “instant gratification” demands of savvy shoppers and the emergence of tech-centric competitors in this ever health conscious world and you have an industry ripe for disruption. 

Holland & Barrett recognise that in order to stay on the beat with their valued customers, they have to innovate. 

Holland & Barrett engaged Future Foundry to re-examine their existing audience, map their strengths to identified customer needs and align H&B closer to the ever changing behaviours of their customers. The Future Foundry Validation Mission was perfect for Holland & Barrett on this part of their journey. 

Future Foundry worked closely with Holland & Barrett’s innovation team to answer the question “how can we drive growth outside of a typical retail environment”. Future Foundry were able to test, validate and conduct viability analysis on numerous ideas on a concurrent basis, allowing for fast evidence based outputs across a plethora of potential initiatives that Holland & Barrett could take forward. 

“Future Foundry’s Velocity system is really key as it adds discipline and rigour to our ideas. We can have really interesting, divergent, thought provoking ideas, but putting them through Velocity helps to stage gate that across desirability, feasibility and viability which is really important for us”. - Taran Toor, Director of Wellness Innovation
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