Kerry ramps up ‘locally led’ innovation in Southern Europe

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Juan Soto, VP & GM of Kerry in Southern Europe with Thomas Hahlin Ahlinder, president & CEO, Kerry Europe. Pic: Kerry
Juan Soto, VP & GM of Kerry in Southern Europe with Thomas Hahlin Ahlinder, president & CEO, Kerry Europe. Pic: Kerry

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The global taste and nutrition specialist has inaugurated its Southern Europe Innovation Centre in Barcelona, Spain, which will serve as a regional hub for customers in Spain, Portugal, Italy and France.

The new facility expands on the Irish company's current office in the city – opened in 1998 – with a new customer suite and applications labs. It will operate in conjunction with the company’s technology centres in Vigo and Granada, as well as its taste centres of excellence in Grasse in France and Mozzo in Italy.

“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, VP and GM for Kerry South Europe.

“Kerry’s strategic investments in the region underscore the emergence of Southern Europe as a very significant base for food manufacturing and innovation. 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’s Spanish footprint

Kerry innovation centre in Barcelona
Juan Soto, VP & GM, Kerry Southern Europe; Therese O’Rourke, chief technology officer, Kerry Europe; Albert Castellanos i Maduell, secretary of Business and Competitiveness, Accio; Susanna Ferrer, Honorary Consul of Ireland, Barcelona; and Thomas Hahlin Ahlinder, president & CEO of Kerry Europe.

Kerry has been supporting food and beverage manufacturers in Southern Europe for decades, with sites located across Italy, France and Spain.

Its first manufacturing investment in Spain came with the acquisition of Vendin in 2016.

The launch of the new centre brings Kerry’s investment in Iberia to more than €200m in the last four years, having finalised the acquisitions of seasoning and coatings company Hasenosa in 2018, plant protein specialist Pevesa in 2020 and functional ingredients expert Biosearch Life for €126.9m.

The new Southern Europe Innovation Centre in Barcelona was completed with the support of Catalonia trade and investment body ACCIÓ, including funding under the framework of the aid programme for high-impact business investments in Catalonia.

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