Arla Foods, an international cooperative also the largest producer of dairy products in Scandinavia, is setting up a product innovation organization for speeding up innovation in the food business.
The new organization will be responsible for all research and development of technology and product related innovation including food packaging, product development and management. Arla CMO Hanne Søndergaard believes that clubbing together product management and research and development departments will significantly enhance productivity, and will increase competency of the entire organization. This will bring together commercial zones, supply chain, and markets in close synchronization to better drive the cooperative’s mission of maximizing value of its products. The growth driven innovation will be instrumental in creating highest value for the cooperative owners.
The new organization will be headed by Lars Dalsgaard from 1 April 2019 as the senior vice president of product and innovation. He has been working with Arla for 35 years and has six year experience in the UK. He was instrumental in expanding Arla’s reach in cheese and ingredients. He currently heads the butter cheese and powder global supply chain manufacturing division in the company. Arla’s CMO believes that Lars’s extensive experience, skills and expertise in the field will take innovation to the next level.
The company believes that the creation of the new organization will double the impact in half the time. More experimental roll outs, faster market response along with cutting edge innovation in the field will place the company at the forefront of the field. The company being a leading dairy brand in the Europe, must look for innovation to increase the value of products as well expand its reach globally.
The move is the latest in the series of strategic moves by the company to lead in dairy innovation. In December 2017 it invested $40 million to open a global centre for innovation in Denmark. It has also announced $36.3 million investment for dedicated research and development by setting up second innovation facility in milk-based and whey ingredients.
Arla has recently announced that it has created a new protein-based infant formula. As infant formulas contain higher protein content than breast milk, it can cause gastrointestinal trouble for infants, but Arla claims that by altering the type and amount of protein in the formula it has made gut-comfortable formula for babies.