Symrise ramps up product development to support UK food and drink innovation

By Nicola Gordon-Seymour

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Symrise Colworth Bedford Snack

Symrise has pledged to accelerate product development to support UK dairy, bakery and beverage industries, following the opening of an innovation lab in Bedford last November.

This is the first time Symrise has committed to a dedicated space for bakery and dairy innovation in the UK, with existing centres in France and Germany, and will facilitate optimisation of UK focused product development.

The modern 140m2​ facility is located in Colworth Science Park and includes application labs for bakery, dairy, and drinks, as well as a flavour development lab and co-creation space.

Frank Hoeving, Managing Director, UK Business Unit Savoury, commented: “Our state-of-the art labs and offices will make our Colworth site the perfect location to strengthen our collaboration with the British food and beverage industry, championing a new mindset and way of working​.

It will strengthen our local development to support UK food and beverage manufacturers and producers. Also, it will enable speed and agility to align with fast-paced consumer market demands.”

Integrated working

Colworth’s business model embraces an integrated way of working in a science-focused ecosystem that brings like-minded businesses and partners together on one site. Symrise is a strong advocate of collaborative working; it places high value on the approach and actively pursues its expansion.

The established ecosystem of science and technology companies and site location will strengthen Symrise’s relationships with local partners and help reduce lead times to market for new projects.

Lisa Wilks, Head of Marketing, Sales & Marketing, Flavour UK, explained: “We are always striving for excellence – in all areas of our business.

"We do so by working with employees who excel in their field of expertise, using advanced consumer and market understanding and using high quality raw materials, and working in close and trustful relationships with our partners along the entire value chain.

"In this way, we are creating added and sustainable value for everyone – farmers, suppliers, customers, consumers and employees.”

Symrise will work alongside Unilever and other on-site experts with a focus on new taste solutions that satisfy consumer trends and expectations (health, natural ingredients, indulgence, and emotional connection), and respond to food-related challenges, such as obesity, malnourishment, and food waste.

Wilks said: “Local teams enable us to tailor applications to the market, brand and consumer needs that we identify through a ‘decode’ 360 process of innovation. This helps to ensure our application teams fully understand the market, consumer needs and customer brands before moving to the design stage of the process.”

In addition, having access to local regulatory knowledge and support will help ensure current and future market compliance.


Colworth Science Park is one of seven ‘life science ecosystems’ owned by business development company, We are Pioneer Group (WAPG), and managed by the group’s subsidiary, Knowledge Factory.

It offers collaborative workspaces at nine sites throughout the UK, including Nottingham, Glasgow, Kent, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Redcar, and Manchester, and account for 7.5% of the UK-only innovation ecosystem.

The Bedford science park comprises a network of businesses dedicated to excellence in food and drink innovation, including Barry Callebaut, Unilever, Kerry Ingredients; Firmenich and Orchadia (Food and Drink R&D), and several research labs.

We are Pioneer Group was created last April through the merger of three companies: BioCity Group (venture investor), Trinity Investment Management, and Knowledge Factory (science park management) to create the UK’s largest life sciences ecosystem, ‘helping to connect companies with potential partners and promoting tech transfer between universities, research institutions and the private sector​’.

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