Affinnova Inc., a Waltham company that has repurposed algorithms devised for genetic research to address such consumer-product issues as how to design beer bottles and supermarket cereal aisles, said it has helped Ricola test a concept for a dual-action cough drop.
The drop is not only designed to reduce coughing but also to relieve sore throats.
US sales for a product known as Ricola Dual Action have been so robust that the Swiss-based brand Ricola now plans a global rollout of the new product, starting with Europe, Affinnova said. In the six months following its launch, Ricola Dual Action achieved $5 million in sales – four times more sales than its nearest competitor’s new product, according to Affinnova.
The Ricola marketing team used Concept Studio, Affinnova’s cloud-based concept collaboration and development application, to create more than 2,500 possible dual-action cough drop concepts before choosing one that features a liquid center, Affinnova said.
“Companies need to expose as many of their ideas as possible to consumers in order to identify products with the greatest potential for success,” Waleed Al-Atraqchi, Affinnova’s president and chief executive, said in a statement.
Affinnova was founded in 2000 by Noubar Afeyan and Kamal Malek, two Ph.D’s from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who believed that technology developed for such purposes as genetic research could be equally relevant for evaluating the challenges that face consumer products companies.
Last month, Affinnova said it was on pace to end 2012 with 186 employees, a 23 percent increase from its head-count at the end of 2011.