Unilever Foods Innovation Centre: transforming the food system
The Unilever Foods Innovation Centre in Wageningen is an interaction and collaboration hub where 500 employees work on transforming the food system as we know it.
The Foods Innovation Centre is located at the Wageningen Campus, which is also home to Wageningen University and Research (WUR). At this unique location, the centre stimulates the co-creation of innovative solutions. For example, the centre and the university collaborate in research projects, and students from WUR are involved in projects at the centre. A large part of the building is accessible to the public, facilitating knowledge sharing.
The building houses a Pilot Plant, a Food & Customer Experience area and two floors of offices and laboratories. The Pilot Plant hosts small-scale development of new products, and in test kitchens chefs experiment with new ingredients. In the concept store members of the public can sample the results. The centre’s R&D experts work on innovations such as alternatives to ease the transition to plant-based products, the reduction of salt and sugar in the entire Unilever portfolio and the fortification of foods to help boost their nutritional value. They are also developing sustainable packaging, such as 100% recycled and recyclable plastic bottles and biodegradable tea bags.
The Foods Innovation Centre is one of the most sustainable multifunctional buildings in the world. With 1550 solar panels on the roof, the building is energy neutral, and excess hot or cold water is stored for use at other times of the year. In addition, the user comfort is guaranteed through biodiversity, admission of natural light and a ventilation system that improves air quality.
Unilever Foods Innovation Centre, +31 (0)317 700 040
Header image by Ossip van Duivenbode