NETHERLANDS- Speciality oil ingredients supplier AAK has launched a new Plant-based Foods Global Center of Excellence in Zaandijk, the Netherlands.
AAK provides value-adding ingredients that cut across different sectors, including chocolate & confectionery, bakery, dairy, plant-based foods, special nutrition, food service, and personal care.
AAK has operated in the Netherlands, one of Europe’s largest agrifood economies, for a long time now, and the new center will offer the company a competitive advantage; being strategically located near the Wageningen Food Valley, a region populated by international food companies and research institutes.
“We have renovated a riverside warehouse to create a purpose-built facility where we can work with our customers, co-develop new ideas, and test them in our pilot plants and culinary kitchen obtaining results and feedback quickly to support product development and iterative prototyping,” said Niall Sands, AAK’s President of Commercial Development and Innovation.
The three-story, state-of-the-art center will feature an analytical laboratory, a customer-experience kitchen, and a sensory suite all under one AAK roof, allowing clients to bring great-tasting food and beverages to market with greater speed and confidence.
“We believe successive incremental product improvements are key to the long-term success of the plant-based food categories. We are excited by their potential to make a positive difference to our customers’ products and processes as we strive to make better happen from plant to brand,” Sands added.
According to the company’s website, the AkoPlanet plant-based oil ingredients offer tastier, healthier, plant-based foods that target people with the flexitarian flow and environmentally aware people, catering to the increasing demand for healthier and more sustainable plant-based foods.
Plant-based foods are an integral part of the company’s focus on sustainable innovation, and this new center is a great step toward achieving its sustainability goals.
“Investing in this Plant-based Foods Global Center of Excellence reaffirms our commitment to grow our presence in this dynamic and fast-paced category,” said Johan Westman, President and CEO of AAK Group.
AAK will reap significant benefits by setting up the facility in the Netherlands as 15 out of the top 20 largest agrifood companies have production or R&D sites in the Netherlands.