Snacks and cereals innovation on the cards

Posted by Isobel Drake on 11th July 2008

Cargill has expanded its capabilities with the opening of a new Snacks and Cereal Product Innovation Centre in Minneapolis. The company are hoping the new research centre will enable them to help food manufacturers create innovative new products that drive sales growth.

“The new facility unites Cargill’s product formulation and pilot plant scale-up capabilities under one roof, enabling the company to help customers accelerate new product development and testing and increase speed to market,” claimed Luis Rayas, the center’s technical director. According to Mr Rayas, Cargill also will add new, specialized technical personnel at the facility.

Opened in June, the new centre allows snacks and cereal customers to leverage Cargill’s culinary experts, food scientists and engineers on a wide range of new product initiatives. Cargill’s product manufacturing capabilities at the new center will include, among other things, puffed snacks and cereals, flakes and snacks, food coating, granola and clusters and dough-based baked products.

“We opened this center to help our customers accelerate ideation and new product development,” advised Jon Wiersum, vice president, Snacks and Cereal Category, Cargill. “We are focusing on culinary-based product developments that result in healthier products that meet consumers’ expectations for taste, texture and visual appeal.”

Cargill suggest that the centre will also develop snack, bar and cereal formulations that meet customers’ specific requirements for color, texture and moisture.

The creation of the Snacks and Cereal Product Innovation Center follows Cargill’s opening of a Bakery Product Innovation Center in March.

Cargill’s creation of innovation centres is indicative of the current situation of the industry as research into new flavours and healthier ingredients helps stimulate growth for manufacturers at a time when consumers are demanding to be provided with increased food variety and more ‘better for you’ products.