Typical products can contribute to socio-economic development of their place of origin if they are able to take part in the logic of the global market. The aim of this research is to examine one type of innovation, the use of PDO products as ingredients, as a part of a strategy to re-launch PDO products which have a mature market. The evolution of the concept of innovation is discussed; innovation is then considered in relation to product life cycle and information asymmetry. There is then a case study on the use of PDO Parmigiano Reggiano cheese as an ingredient in industrial processing. This case shows that even incremental innovation can have serious effects for the market when it is applied on production phases which lie outside the direct control of the PDO producers. In order to protect the consumer as well as the PDO producer, it would be advisable for new legislation to regulate in more detail innovation involving products bearing origin certificates.
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