The Way We Innovate in a Post-Covid World

Dr. Fulya Eren

Hometown Food Company

Ohio, USA

Crises are the source of creativity as it prompts problem solving. When faced with problems, problem-solving skills start to build their muscles. As human beings we adapted, optimized, and created solutions when faced with challenges brought on by Covid. Despite the initial limitations Covid brought to our lives, the importance of innovation in a post-COVID world has only increased.


In late December 2019 when the first reports of Covid appeared no one anticipated what it would become. It was not declared as a pandemic until March 11, 2020.  Covid turned out to be more than a disease. Covid not only changed our lives by the deaths it caused, but it also changed social norms, how we interact, disrupted the economy and supply chains globally.  Though it pushed us to our limits in many ways; we saw remarkable innovations across different industries with new products, services, and ways of selling emerging.  Some of these changes are here to stay and some will fade, but the ones here to stay will continue to change how we innovate.


Many businesses have not and may never be able to operate as they have in the past. Previous assumptions successful businesses were based on might not be valid anymore. Business models and competitive landscape changed, as well as business challenges we are faced with every day. This presentation focuses on analysis of successful strategies applied to minimize the effects of the Covid crisis and how to apply these learnings to our future innovation strategies.


Dr. Fulya Eren is currently the Director of R&D for Hometown Food Companies. Prior to her current position she managed R&D at companies like Unilever, Harris Freeman, Nutro-Mars and ACH Food Companies. Dr. Eren has 20+ years of experience in Research and Development with 15+ years in managerial positions. She has proven track record of very successful innovation projects and new product launches. She has two pending patent applications. During her career in Food industry, she launched over 400 products across many food categories like soup mixes, salad dressings, oils and margarines, tea, baking mixes, extruded and canned pet food, spices, meal makers. Dr. Eren also collaborated with universities and private institutions and designed clinical trials to study effect of oils.