Our Work – New Product Innovation

Magic Middles

Magic Middles

An extremely unorthodox, but potentially game changing approach to New Product Innovation is “R&D” first. A promising technology in another industry is identified first, and products to capitalize on the opportunity in one’s own industry are developed second. ( The Sony Walkman – which many consider one of the most groundbreaking consumer innovations in history, was actually a barely modified version of an already existing product, the little known, “unremarkable, Pressman tape recorder.)
A similar approach also led to the creation of Keebler’s award-winning Magic Middle cookies.

Cookies Category Opportunity

  • Variety, indulgence, and fun are the key drivers of New Product success in the cookie category.
  • Rheon encrusted technology was originally intended for pasta production.
  • But “By seeing what others had already seen, and then realizing what nobody else had” the Rheon “pasta filling” equipment was identified as having tremendous potential for new cookie products.

New Product Solution

Keebler’s Magic Middles – cookies with hidden chocolate centers.


  • The Magic Middles line achieved annual sales of $100 million in 1989, and won the AMA’s Edison Award for best new food product innovation.
  • That success was followed up in 1990 with Mini Middles – a more snackable version of Magic Middles.
  • Mini Middles were the first entry into what became a $400MM bite-sized cookie segment.