Bonduelle has opened a research and development centre focusing on the French vegetable group’s fresh products business.
The site is based in Saint-Priest, to the south-east of the French city of Lyon. The company’s fresh division, which markets products including bagged and prepared salads, has offices and a manufacturing site in the nearby town of Genas.
Bonduelle said marketing and R&D staff would be located at the new facility in order to develop products “in line with consumer trends”. Some 27 staff work at the site.
The company said it would “involve consumers in the design of the products of tomorrow”, with the site using market research in-store or within households to devise new products.
Over half of the sales Bonduelle makes from fresh products are generated in France, with Germany and Italy the next largest markets. The company said its namesake brand was the best-selling in the bagged salad category in France.
In Bonduelle’s 2014/2015 financial year, the division posted sales of almost EUR400m (US$436.6m), up 8% on the previous 12 months. Group turnover stood at EUR1.98bn.
In a two-part interview with Bonduelle CFO Gregory Sanson, published in October after the company reported its annual results, in which he earmarked fresh products as one of the engines for the group’s growth in Europe.