NETHERLANDS – Symrise is partnering with consumer goods company, Unilever to open an innovation lab at the Unilever Foods Innovation Centre in the so-called “Food Valley” of Wageningen, Netherlands.
The state-of-the-art creative center will comprise a flavor creation lab, an application kitchen and collaboration rooms that cover 120 square meters.
By having Symrise resources directly at Unilever’s site, the company is pioneering a new approach that seeks to accelerate development of innovative culinary foods.
Symrise will be working together with scientists from Wageningen University & Research. The company said this will enable it to understand and deliver against its customer’s needs.
While Symrise experts have in the past developed finished product ideas in their own facilities and then presented them to their customers in the food industry, the new innovation lab will now enable the company to develop an integrated model.
“This approach will enable the companies to optimally integrate and develop new products together in a creative and efficient manner,” says Heinrich Schaper, President Flavor Division at Symrise.
“Furthermore, the site will make it possible for us to leverage the expertise of the best Agri-Agro researchers from around the world.”
Manfred Aben, Vice President R&D and Head of the Foods Innovation Centre at Unilever, said: “We are thrilled about the idea of cooperation and direct knowledge exchange.
“Having the resources and expertise of a global leader, such as Symrise located right at our site enables us to work even better together on the transformational journey towards a food system that is better for you and for the planet.
“It’s a first proof point of how we envisage working together with partners in an ecosystem. Consumers can look forward to very unique taste experiences.”
Innovations for more taste and sustainability
Symrise aims at working together with Unilever on many different levels. This new, on-site approach to integrated product development allows for more scientific collaboration on the field of sustainability.
Combining research and consumer insights of both companies with an accelerated innovation pace delivers significant advantages – products can be developed faster, more efficiently, with high consumer relevance.
To achieve this, Symrise will contribute a selection of raw materials and use them directly in the development of new products.
“This approach, which resembles a holistic ecosystem in which specialists from Unilever and Symrise are directly connected to one another as well as with scientists from the Wageningen University & Research, has enormous potential,” says Schaper at Symrise.
“It can be adopted by other customers and enable go-to-market product acceleration. It also provides the long-term benefit of adding depth to our understanding of customers and their markets.”
Wageningen University & Research is a recognized global institution for education and research in the areas of agriculture and nutrition with over 5,000 scientists and 12,000 students dedicated to studies in the agro-food and environmental domain.
Employees of Symrise will also lecture at the university, and students will be invited for exchanges in Holzminden.