Belgian bakery ingredients firm Puratos has a new manufacturing and innovation centre in China that will be dedicated to developing products for the local Asian taste requirements.
Situated just outside Guangzhou, the US$27.45m (€22m) plant took three years to develop and is set to open in the coming weeks.
Daniel Malcorps, CEO of Puratos, said that its present site in China could not be expanded which prompted the investment in a new plant.
“It is an extremely modern plant and we are currently in the process of transferring activities,” Malcorps told FoodNavigator-Asia.
The site will be dedicated to manufacturing ingredients, innovation and will eventually be Puratos’ Asian research and development (R&D) centre, he said.
Built from scratch, the new plant has space to expand should demands outpace capacity, he said.
“Taste has to be optimised locally,” he said, and “the focus in the new plant will be on Asian food habits and adjusting bakery, patisserie and chocolate products to local tastes.”
He added that this will also be supported by existing local innovation centres and sales offices across various provinces including Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou.
The firm is also launching its ‘Sensory Analysis Bus’ in China, which is a mobile laboratory that goes out to directly work with consumers on the ground testing products to tailor taste profiles accordingly. The scheme has already been successful across Europe, Malcorps said.
Bakery and patisserie orientation in Asia
“We really see opportunities in the Asian market with more development of consumption and an orientation towards bakery and patisserie,” he said.
An interesting trend across Asia is that unlike European consumers they go straight to the premium, high quality products within the bakery sector, he added.
While there are opportunities across the globe to drive business, Asia represents increased opportunities mainly due to the gaps in per capita consumption, he said.