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BLC expands global innovation network with the opening of its Creative Studio in Istanbul
Innovation
July 01, 2020
Company accelerates customer innovation in growing Middle East/North Africa markets

As part of its focus on Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa, Bunge Loders Croklaan (BLC), a world leader in edible oils and fats, is expanding its worldwide innovation network with its first Creative Studio in the region. The studio will be adjacent to the Bunge Turkey office. 

“Our goal is to be close to our customers and work with them to streamline product development and time-to-market,” says Renee Boerefijn, Director of Innovation EMEA for Bunge Loders Croklaan. “Whether pioneering products with a balanced nutritional profile or creating more indulgent treats, our Creative Studios help our customers stay ahead of the competition. They are the physical representation of the concept, ‘Let’s create together,’ which is fundamental to who we are as a company and to our commitment to innovation. A number of new studios are in the pipeline, all designed to guide our regional customers toward effective translation of ideas into winning new products.”

The state-of-the-art studio is a dynamic workshop environment that provides on-site support to regional confectionery and bakery manufacturers to co-create innovative new products with sensory appeal, vibrant new flavors, and enhanced total nutritional value while staying ahead of constantly evolving trends, supporting them in the  design of exciting new solutions to meet regional tastes.

Middle East’s growing appetite for innovative products
According to Euromonitor, Turkey’s overall confectionery market is worth an estimated $3.5B. and is expected to increase 14.3% in value by the end of 2021. Turkey makes up a big part of Eastern Europe’s entire candy market, with an 11.5% share.

And Turkey is not the only growth market. Data from Innova Market Insights points to a Middle Eastern population with a growing sweet tooth. The global research group noted an increase in product launches for bakery and confectionery of +23% and +20%, respectively, when comparing 2018 and 2019 launches, with chocolate and biscuits being the top categories. There is also an upswing in innovation. Fusion of regional flavors in biscuit and cakes such as halva, hummus, and labneh cheese is trending.

Capturing food trends
The Istanbul Creative Studio will be managed by Öznur Köse, Application & Technical Support Manager Turkey, supported by a local team of experts, and is the latest addition to the existing global network of Creative Experience Centers. It will serve to develop solutions with food manufacturers across bakery, confectionery, culinary, and dairy in collaboration with innovative networks such as Le Cordon Bleu. It will also provide training in specific ancillary issues, such as reformulation of products according to new regulations including SAFA, trans-fats, and food safety.

“Working with a team of dedicated experts in one of our Creative Studios is an exhilarating experience,” enthuses Köse. “The new studio in Istanbul is now part of Bunge’s extensive network in Turkey. This allows us to serve regional customers on a broad range of oils, fats and specialty solutions.”

The official opening ceremony of the new studio is scheduled for October, 2020. The company is looking forward to meeting both its new and existing regional customers at the event. The site has been sterilized and workshops will take place in accordance with all Covid-19 directives.