Ideas
Explore the world's #1 largest database of ideas and innovations, with over 500,000 inspiring examples.
Trend Reports
Discover why 900 brands rely on our AI-powered Trend Reports to get better, faster insights.
Newsletter
Join 298,220 subscribers who rely on our weekly newsletter to keep up with need-to-know trends and insights.
Consumer Insights
Uncover major shifts and emerging opportunities with our exclusive PRO research.
Trend Reports
Discover why 900 brands rely on our AI-powered Trend Reports to get better, faster insights.
Newsletter
Join over 250,000 subscribers who rely on our weekly newsletter to keep up with need-to-know trends and insights.
Dashboard
Get special access to premium content, topic tracking and customizable tools through our AI-powered Dashboard.
AI + Human Methodology
Learn how Trend Hunter harnesses the power of artificial intelligence.
Assessment
Enhance your innovation potential with a deeper understanding of your unique innovation archetype and how your organization benchmarks.
eLearning (NEW)
Prepare for the year's ahead with 100+ lessons, tactics, tools and frameworks with our full learning database.
Advisory & Services
Accelerate innovation and ignite disruptive thinking with our award-winning programs and research.
Trend Reports
Get fast, customized trend reports, presentations and deep dives 20x faster than traditional research.
Plans
Get started today with a free consultation, our self-serve tools, or a dedicated program.
Jeremy Gutsche
Ignite your event or virtual event with our CEO, a NY Times Bestselling Author and one of the top innovation keynote speakers.
Our Team of Speakers & Virtual Presenters
Inspire your group with our most popular speakers on innovation, trends, change and futurism.
Custom Training & Events
Bring the Future Festival experience directly to your team or co-hosted custom event.
Contact
Get in touch to learn more, ask a question or submit a tip.
About Us
Learn more about Trend Hunter and how we accelerate innovation.
FAQ
Get answers to common questions about Trend Hunter.
Community
Stay on the cutting-edge with the help of the Trend Hunter community.
Team
Meet the team trusted by hundreds of leading businesses worldwide.
Jobs
Find opportunities to accelerate your career with the #1 Trend Firm.
News
Catch up on noteworthy Trend Hunter news and media mentions.
Join
Build a portfolio and put your trend-spotting abilities to the test.
Advertising
Supercharge your marketing by partnering with Trend Hunter.
Portfolio
Visit your public portfolio and browse your past articles.
Add a Trend
Write up an article and showcase your trend-spotting skills.
My Trends
Edit your articles and see how they stack up on the leaderboards.
Settings
Edit your profile, connect your social media accounts, and more.
Add a trend, customize your dashboard, or track topics.
Future Festival
Innovation Events
Join the world's top innovators at our FREE Virtual events.
Free Webinars
During COVID-19, learn to innovate through chaos, navigate the new normal and maintain work culture from home.
Custom Training & Events
Bring the Future Festival experience directly to your team or co-hosted custom event.
Search our database of 395,613 cutting edge ideas.

Innovating with a Quirky Personality

Jeff Zwally, VP of Research and Development, Jack in the Box
Sarah St.Jules
May 7th, 2014

Related Trend Reports

Food, Gadgets, Health, Life, Tech
With delicious, and ample food choices, a quirky personality and hilarious commercials, there is no fast food chain quite like Jack in the Box. This company sells everything from burgers to egg rolls, and you can even pick up the perfect meal after a late night on the town. Customers love Jack in the Box’s approach to food, and atmosphere, and the company’s passion is apparent in everything they do. Jeff Zwally, VP of Research and Development, is responsible for the new product development pipeline. Jeff and his team have managed to continue to come up with exciting new menu innovations that keep customers satisfied, and wanting more.

4 Questions with Jeff Zwally

1. How does your team generate new ideas?
Our ideas can come from anywhere. My Research and Development team spends a lot of time with our suppliers, operators, marketing team and corporate chefs. Spending time with these people helps to spark new ideas. We also do Trend Tours where we go to fine dining, and casual restaurants to see what's on their menu and what's new and exciting. Generating the ideas is often the easy part. All of these ideas need to be a good fit with our brand. About 80% of what we come up with is consumer driven, and the other 20% are ideas the consumers may not even know they want. We have an 'Innovation Wall' where corporate based employees can submit their ideas to the marketing and research teams.

2. What is the biggest challenge you face when innovating?
The biggest challenge we face is time. The faster we can ideate and put into the market, the better. As a franchisor, the more we can put out the better. It's a competitive market because we have a lot of other companies in our sector. Most of us have access to the same trend forecasting, so it becomes a race to the finish line. Sometimes it's good to be first, but it can also be good to be second. When you come second, the public has already been introduced to the idea. However, there's a fine line because you definitely don't want to be too late with releasing the idea. Since we are more of a regional chain, we are much more nimble than the larger national chains, which allows us to get trends and innovative new products to market faster.

3. What makes an innovative culture? How do you create a culture of innovation?
Here at Jack in the Box, our Innovation Center houses all those functions that drive the new product pipeline. The fact that it’s called the 'Innovation' center represents how important creativity and food trends are to the brand. One thing that is distinctive about us is that we have a very diverse, unique menu. At our stores, you can buy anything from burgers to tacos to egg rolls. As a brand, we are known in the industry for our constant product innovation. Jack in the Box was the first QSR restaurant chain to launch a breakfast sandwich, fruit smoothies and tacos. People have come to expect innovation out of us. It also helps that our entire management team is on board with innovating. Our CEO, Lenny Comma, has a saying, and it's "going bananas." This is basically our way of saying we need to think outside of the box. A culture of innovation starts with our senior management team. We always say that it's okay to fail as long as you're learning.

4. Looking to the future, how will Jack in the Box continue to be a leader in innovation?
We need to make sure that any new product we consider fits with who we are as brand, and that it represents our personality. Everyone is familiar with Jack, but it’s his fun and quirky personality that we want to come through in our menu and restaurant atmosphere. One new addition that perfectly represents Jack in the Box is our 'Munchie Meals.' We noticed a need for late night, cheesy, indulgent, delicious food. We also connected these meals with an overall brand experience, including neon lights, club music and a change in employee uniform. We will continue to surprise our customers, but we will always stay true to who we are.