HONG KONG — Puratos on March 1 opened the Puratos Asia Development Centre (ADC) in Hong Kong, a new facility that is expected to help Asian artisans, industrial food producers, retailers and food service companies analyze and create new products for the region’s consumers.
According to Puratos, research has shown that Asian consumers are “future-oriented and enjoy new products that use natural ingredients and deliver freshness, health and taste.” Puratos hopes to address those trends through “constant innovation” at the ADC.
The facility will be staffed by an international team of technical experts, Puratos said, and includes a sensory analysis laboratory, a Sensobox mobile sensorial laboratory, an Industrial Competence Centre, a long-term research laboratory and a chocolate cafe and bakery cafe.
“The bakery business in Asia is benefitting from rising disposable income and changing lifestyle and consumption patterns,” said Peter Deriemaeker, market director for Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa at Puratos. “With our innovative ingredients, solutions and application expertise, Puratos wants to inspire our customers to innovate and differentiate to serve this growing market. Having invested around $500,000 in putting together the ADC, we will continue to invest in R.&D. and infrastructure in Hong Kong to remain close to our customers in Asia.”
Puratos said the Hong Kong ADC also will serve as the company’s regional headquarters.
“Asia is a market of great potential for our industry, and it is very important to Puratos,” Mr. Deriemaeker said. “We selected Hong Kong as our regional base because this is an Asian business and innovation hub as well as a strategic market that leads bakery, patisserie and chocolate trends in the region.”
As part of its Taste Tomorrow consumer survey, Puratos highlighted several key findings, including:
• 65% of Asia-Pacific consumers expect a greater diversity of food in the future
• 38% of consumers expect that food will be of higher quality in the future
• 73% read food labels in detail
• 81% of Asia-Pacific consumers find whole grain/whole meal healthy
• 67% of Asia-Pacific consumers find whole grain/whole meal tasty
• 75% of consumers would buy more products at bakeries where everything is baked with natural ingredients, while 31% fear food will become less natural in the future
• 75% of consumers appreciate bakeries where the oven is in sight and bakery items are freshly baked on site• 42% of Asia-Pacific consumers freeze bread weekly to preserve freshness.