Kerry opens innovation center in Spain, completes sale of Sweet Ingredients Portfolio

IRELAND –  Kerry, an Irish-based taste and nutrition company, has formally established its Southern Europe Innovation Centre in Barcelona, Spain as part of plans to improve its application development capabilities.

The center includes customer suite and applications laboratories which will enable experts from Kerry work more closely with customers to develop solutions across food and beverage categories, including retail manufacturing and food service.

The innovation centre will not only bolster Kerry’s innovation capabilities but will also help it to better serve the food and beverage industry in nearby countries like Portugal, Italy, and France.

“This investment will help us respond to our customers’ needs at pace as we work closely together in partnership to deliver sustainable nutrition to consumers through our globally connected, locally-led approach,” said Juan Soto, vice president, and general manager, of Kerry South Europe.

“We are excited to further the delivery of our insights and technologies across taste, plant-based, food waste, and health and bio-pharma across the region.”

Kerry first established its first commercial office in Barcelona in 1998, while its first manufacturing investment in Spain came with the acquisition of Vendin (2016).

The company has more recently completed the strategic acquisitions of Hasenosa, Pevesa and Biosearch Life, a testimony to its commitment to the region.

With the launch of the new center in Barcelona Kerry’s investment in Iberia cumulates to more than €200 million in the last four years.

“ Kerry’s strategic investments in the region underscore the emergence of Southern Europe as a very significant base for food manufacturing and innovation,” said Juan Soto, vice president, and general manager, of Kerry South Europe.

ACCI a public agency for business competitiveness in the Spanish region of Catalonia supported the project’s completion with funding its aid program for high-impact business investments in Catalonia.

As the expansion in Southern Europe gathers pace, Kerry is more than happy to complete the divestment of its Sweet Ingredients portfolio to IRCA Group.

“Today, we finalised the sale of our Sweet Ingredients portfolio to IRCA Group, an international leader in chocolate, creams, and other high-quality food ingredients,” read a LinkedIn post from Kerry.

“We would like to extend our appreciation and gratitude to those of our colleagues who will join IRCA from today, and we wish them the very best for this new chapter.”

The Sweet Ingredients Portfolio produces sweet and cereal products with a broad range of technological capabilities, primarily serving the end markets of bakery, cereal, confectionery, dairy and ice cream in Europe and the US

Kerry first announced the sale of the Sweet Ingredients portfoli  in January 2023 for a consideration of €500m.

At the time, the company noted that the combination of IRCA and Kerry’s Sweet Ingredients Portfolio is expected to create a global leader in semi-finished food ingredients with around €1 billion in revenues.

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