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December 9, 2019

4 Min Read
Unilever Opens $94M Foods Innovation Center
Image courtesy of Unilever

Consumer packaged goods producer Unilever recently held an event to mark the opening of its new €85 million (about $94 million) global Foods Innovation Center at Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

Dubbed “The Hive,” the facility is located near agri-food academic research centers, startups, and other partners. Unilever will use the facility to carry out food innovation programs in areas like plant-based ingredients and meat alternatives, sustainable food packaging, and nutritious food for Knorr, Hellmann’s, Calve, and other brands. 

“We need a fundamental transformation of the food system if we are to feed more than 9 billion people sustainably and nutritiously. Malnutrition, obesity, climate change, and food waste are issues that can only be addressed if we work in partnership to accelerate technology and innovation,” Unilever’s chief executive officer, Alan Jope, said in a December 6 company press release. “Having a global research and development center in Wageningen will enable us to do exactly this.”

The 40,850 m2 structure contains a pilot plant, a food and customer experience area with test kitchens, office space, and laboratories. Nutritionists from Unilever will collaborate with researchers and students from Wageningen University & Research (WUR), local startups, and other knowledge institutes at the site. 

Last month, Unilever appointed Nils Andersen as chairman of its board effective immediately after the former occupant of the post, Marijn Dekkers, announced plans to step down from the role. Andersen has been a member of Unilever’s board since April 2015 and is currently a member of its Audit Committtee.

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