The trends, technologies and products that will shape the worldwide dairy category in the future will be created hand-in-hand with chefs, scientists, consumers and customers at Arla Foods’ new state-of-the-art global innovation centre.
Arla has put innovation at the centre of its growth plans for the next decade. The farmer-owned dairy company is aiming to be the most collaborative innovator in the global dairy market, worth approximately €360 billion, with its new global innovation centre in Aarhus, Denmark, which officially opens today.
The innovation centre will play a pivotal role in the company’s collaboration with customers and a key part in the pursuit of Arla’s UK Strategy 2020, its most ambitious plan to date. It aims to make Arla a household brand by 2020 and grow its revenue by nearly a third. Innovation plays an important role with at least 10 per cent of the UK’s net revenue from new product development across its branded portfolio. In addition, it will extend its pipeline of healthier dairy products with at least 30 new dairy concepts and 50 new range extensions.
The global innovation team has previously supported the UK business more recently on Arla Big Milk, Arla BOB, Arla Lactofree and improvements on block cheese maturation.
Tomas Pietrangeli, managing director of Arla Foods UK, said: “The innovation centre is a fantastic example of Arla achieving its business ambitions and creating better returns for its farmer owners. Our UK Strategy 2020 has some tough targets but this new facility will help us on our journey. 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.”
In addition to new product development, the centre will also see its 150 specialists work with scientists and universities on research across a number of areas such as dairy farming, prevention of lifestyle diseases, innovative packaging and technologies that can make it easier to transport milk and fresh dairy products across continents.
Today, Arla products are sold in over 100 countries around the world, with the UK as its largest market. The world’s fourth largest dairy company, Arla has long-term strategic growth ambitions and plans to grow its branded sales in the Middle East and North Africa, USA, Sub-Saharan Africa as well as China and Southeast Asia by 2020. Already the world’s biggest producer of organic dairy products, Arla has also set out to further expand its global organic dairy sales by 2020.
Commenting, CEO of Arla Foods, Peder Tuborgh, said: “As a dairy cooperative, we are built on farmers getting together in the 1880s to create better opportunities together. 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.”