Kraft Foods Inc. officially opened its new European Biscuit Research and Development Centre in Saclay, France, a suburb of Paris. This new facility will support product development for many of Europe´s most beloved biscuit brands, including LU, belVita, Oreo, Mikado, Prince, Saiwa and TUC. Kraft Foods Chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld was on hand for the ribbon cutting, which represents the culmination of a two-year-project, with a total investment of 15 million EUR (approximately 20 million USD).
«France is an important market for biscuits in Europe and for Kraft Foods´ snacking business globally. This investment makes good business sense, supporting us in our efforts to drive future biscuit innovation and growth», said Timothy P. Cofer, President, Kraft Foods Europe. «Consumers in Europe and around the world have long enjoyed our exceptional biscuit brands and, with the support of this new Center, we will be able to create many more delicious snacking moments for our consumers for years to come».
Kraft Foods is the biscuit market leader in Europe with more than 15 percent market share, driven by beloved heritage brands and a strong focus on innovation. In 2011, Kraft Foods´ European Biscuit business has been growing more than two times faster than the European biscuits market overall. This growth is fuelled by the company´s investment in consumers´ favourites such as LU, Oreo and belVita, driven by the recent relaunch of the iconic LU brand, the successful introduction of the innovative belVita breakfast biscuit, and the expansion of the «world´s favourite cookie», Oreo, into major markets across Europe.
The investment by Kraft Foods in this new Biscuit R+D Center in Saclay further demonstrates the company´s commitment to snacking, and to snacking-related innovations in the areas of nutrition + wellness and indulgence. In addition, the Center will support the company´s focus on sustainability, building upon the success of the «LU Harmony» program in France.
The Center in Saclay will be home to a team of 120 talented people, including researchers, engineers, nutritionists, baker-pastry cooks, and product and packaging developers dedicated to supporting the European biscuit business. The center joins eleven other Kraft Foods R+D centers that support Kraft Foods´ businesses around the globe.