Vandemoortele opens Food Experience Center for staff and visitors

Summary

The smell of fresh bread is permeating the offices of Vandemoortele Group in Ghent, which has just opened a Food Experience Center to develop its products in the company of customers and suppliers

Kitchen and lab

The Vandemoortele Group, known for its packaged baked goods, margarine and oils, has opened a Food Experience Center at its headquarters in Ghent. The new facility will bring together Vandemoortele’s R&D team, its customers and suppliers, local chefs and other product developers under the tagline “Shaping a tasty future”.

The Food Experience Center will act as a kitchen and lab to test and develop new products and will be open to Vandemoortele’s professional customers for them to do the same. The company will also offer master classes to suppliers and customers to help them best use Vandemoortele’s products.

The company invested €10 million in the facility. “I have always dreamed of a sustainable place dedicated to innovation where you smell bread and croissants baking when you walk in to the building,” said Vandemoortele CEO Jules Noten (pictured above).

Vandemoortele is one of the leading producers of baked goods, oils and fats in Europe. The Food Experience Center will help it to keep up with trends on the market, such as healthier options.

Health trend

“Our team is constantly working to tailor our product range to the needs of consumers and the market,” says Vandemoortele marketing director Eddy Van Blanken. “The health trend is growing, and we want to respond to that. The investment in our new production line in Italy, such as savoury focaccia with vegetables are an example of this, as are the introduction of Vandemoortele mayonnaise without sugars and additives.”

The Food Experience Center will give this innovation a boost, he says. “We are constantly re-evaluating and improving the recipes of our existing product range,” says Van Blanken. “Our donuts have become less sweet, for instance, without the addition of sugar substitutes and without compromising on taste. The demand for mini-versions of products is also on the rise. With the mini range, we are meeting the demand for conscious snacking and indirectly also contributing to less food waste.”

Vandemoortele was founded in 1899 in West Flanders. It now has more than 5,000 employees in 12 European countries. In 2018, its total turnover was €1.4 billion.

Photos courtesy Vandemoortele