IFF has announced the opening of its first dedicated food and beverage lab in Gangnam, Seoul, South Korea. The new co-creation centre reinforces the company’s commitment to “Be the Premier Partner” as it brings together flavour and ingredient solutions with food design capabilities to deliver innovations to their customers in South Korea.
Adding to South Korea’s vibrant food and beverage landscape, the new centre will support beverage, culinary, snack, and dairy manufacturers with greater speed-to-market through insights-led innovation. Manufacturers will have access to advanced lab technology, and the knowledge of IFF’s team of food designers. The centre features dedicated customer co-creation design spaces and a dairy and beverage ultra-high temperature (UHT) pilot plant for small-scale product pilot testing. It also houses a professional culinary kitchen, where IFF’s team will develop savoury seasoning solutions for instant noodles, snacks, and local sauces.
“This innovation centre marks an exciting milestone, showcasing our dedication to pioneering innovation and enhancing accessibility for our valued customers,” said Dr Li Yongjing, president, nourish, Greater Asia, IFF. “As a leader in integrated ingredient and flavour solutions, our strategic approach enables us to co-create food and beverages that resonate with consumers. This investment underscores our commitment to ensuring that our customers can swiftly adapt to the demands of a rapidly growing market and evolving consumer preferences.”
The South Korean food and beverage market is currently valued at US$77bn and is projected to sustain a 4% annual growth rate from 2023 to 2026. Millennials and Generation Z constitute 37% of the population.1 This demographic, especially Generation Z is reported to exercise significant influence in the market and is known for seeking convenience and experimenting with their food choices.2
As one of the leading suppliers of xylitol and protein solutions in South Korea, IFF is also adept with flavour modulation technology. Leveraging its understanding of local taste preferences and market requirements, the new lab will play a part in satisfying South Korea’s need for health and wellness, and functional products; including high-protein and low or no sugar options3 that do not compromise on taste and texture.
1 Euromonitor, 2022, South Korea population data
3 Mintel GNPD, 2023, claims in top growth in Food and Drinks launches last five years, South Korea