The farmer-owned company and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark officially opened the centre in Aarhus yesterday (May 16).
The new centre will examine the latest trends in food and drink and act a springboard for Arla’s work in a range of areas, from the development of dairy snacks and dairy alternatives to recombination technology – combing milk proteins with water and fat to replace traditional dairy ingredients.
Up to 150 specialists at the site will work with scientists and universities researching dairy farming, the prevention of lifestyle diseases, innovative packaging and transport technologies.
Packaging and transport technologies
Arla Foods UK md Tomas Pietrangeli said the centre would help the company meet the tough targets it had set in its 2020 UK strategy.
The strategy aimed to make Arla a household brand by 2020 and grow its sales by up to third. It also planned to launch 30 new healthier dairy products and 50 new range extensions.
“We already work collaboratively with the global innovation team and UK strategic customers but we can now accelerate the time it takes from concept to shelf for new or improved branded and own-label products to UK consumers,” said Pietrangeli.
The building consists of a dairy pilot plant, laboratories, a consumer research centre, a customer collaboration lab and modern office facilities.
‘Collaborate to achieve better results’
Arla ceo Peder Tuborgh said: “It is in our DNA to collaborate to achieve better results. Our new global innovation centre will apply that same approach to our research and development of not just new products but also new ways to consume them.
“The global food industry has never been more competitive than it is today – especially in Europe and across the emerging markets with its booming middle class of consumers in Asia, Africa and beyond. The best innovator wins.”
Meanwhile, Arla Foods has agreed an exclusive three-year deal with Morrisons, to supply the supermarket with own-label milk.
Arla will start supplying Morrisons in March 2018. It will replace the supermarket’s current supply deal, which sees its milk provided by both Arla and Müller.