Leading Spanish food company Grupo Siro has opened a €6m research and development facility in El Espinar, northern Spain to develop a range of new products including ones suitable for consumers who are intolerant to gluten and for children.
A statement from the Madrid-based confectionery and baked goods producer said that the facility will be used for “… the development of new technologies and products to offer consumers the best and most original alternative, ensuring the highest quality of all processes, products or services at lowest cost.”
The 3,000sq m facility includes offices, meeting rooms, clean rooms, workshops, laboratories and tasting and testing areas.
The new centre will be staffed by a team of 40 researchers dedicated to new product development and product assessment. The group is said to work on about 100 new projects each year.
As well as running assessment tests for Grupo Siro products, the R&D centre is already conducting research commissions from other food companies.
Company president Juan Manuel González Serna said at the opening ceremony: "…(research) development is the engine of the Spanish economy in any business. We have the tool (new R&D facility) to achieve excellent results…with these pioneer facilities... "
The company’s food scientists also work in partnership with other researchers based at the Universities of Castilla y León on product development, training and the professional development of students and recruitment of talent.
Other key partners include the horizontal technology agencies CARTIF, AINIA and CETEC.
Formed in 1991, Grupo Siro is a leading manufacturer of confectionery, pasta, biscuits, snacks, bakery, bread, and pastries. Its products are marketed under the brand names such as Rio, Reglero, Castello, La familia, and Duran & Hidalgo.
The company is the sixth largest food company in Spain and has one of the best corporate reputations, according to MERCO; a firm which monitors corporate profiles
Last year, Grupo Siro acquired three Spanish bakery plants from US bakery and beverage company Sara Lee.
A total of about 600 workers are employed at the three plants located in Briviesca (Burgos), Antequera (Malaga) and Aguimes (Gran Canaria).