Tastes differ : comparing company strategy, innovation trajectories and knowledge sources in Dutch soft drink production in the 1930s

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    Abstract

    Impelled by a crisis in Dutch horticulture in the early 1930s, two Dutch food preserving companies, Hero and De Betuwe, decided to start producing non-alcoholic drinks made from fruits and vegetables. Different kinds of knowledge were needed for this radical innovation. Innovation trajectories were established and knowledge was incorporated, but the knowledge sources and 'knowledge filters' of the two companies were very different. Hero's Swiss parent played an important role in transferring Swiss knowledge of production techniques to its Dutch subsidiary company. De Betuwe, on the other hand, mainly relied on knowledge provided by the existing Dutch horticultural innovation network. While succeeding in the soft drink market was to a certain degree a competition between publicly available knowledge and private knowledge, in the end both companies succeeded in producing a comparable product, but their routes to success were different.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)351-367
    Number of pages17
    JournalBusiness History
    Volume50
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

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