The facility will also become the company’s regional headquarters for specialty ingredients in the US. Tate & Lyle said two years ago that it intended to relocate the divisional headquarters from Decatur, Illinois, and shifted its strategy to make its specialty ingredients business the focus of investment and long term growth. In its recent full-year financial results for the year ended March 31, the company said it saw sales by value in the sector rise 10%, while volumes were up 4% during the past year.
Volatile sugar prices and an ongoing interest in healthier ingredients have driven companies toward Tate & Lyle’s cost reduction projects, and the company has also been able to pass high input costs down the supply chain to increase value sales.
The new center, located in Chicago’s Hoffman Estates suburb, has been designed to foster greater collaboration between the company and its customers in new product development, and to accelerate the process of introducing new products onto the market. The facility includes food science research and processing laboratories, applications and technical services laboratories, a demonstration kitchen, consumer insight and testing facilities, a pilot plant, and prototype manufacturing facilities.
Speaking at the official opening ceremony on Wednesday, Tate & Lyle’s president of Specialty Food Ingredients Olivier Rigaud said: “Our new center demonstrates our commitment to develop distinctive, high-quality specialty food ingredients and solutions for our customers across the world.”
The company’s president of Innovation and Commercial Development Karl Kramer said: “The new center will enable us to collaborate more closely with our customers and deliver the creative solutions they need to stay ahead in today’s fast-paced and evolving global marketplace.”