The ingredient supplier also opened a new headquarters in south Sao Paolo yesterday.
Its applications center is six times bigger than the previous one and includes both a pilot plant and experimental kitchen, which its customers can use to design and test different recipe formulations for various categories including dairy, beverage and bakery.
The center is also equipped with a room for consumer focus groups, sensory analysis and shelf-life testing of products.
Manufacturers from all Latin American countries will be able to use the Sao Paolo lab, adding to the company’s network of centers it already has in Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Cali in Colombia, and Juiz de Fora in Brazil.
The company, which reported sales of £2.8 billion (US$3.59bn) for the financial ending March 2019, said the multimillion-dollar investment reflects the importance and growth potential of the Latin American region.
Oswaldo Nardinelli, senior vice president and general manager of Tate & Lyle’s food and beverage division for Latin America, described the applications center as a “one-stop-shop’ for formulation”.
“There is an increasing consumer demand in Latin America for more food and beverage options that can support healthier diets and lifestyles, and manufacturers are increasingly looking for new ways to reduce calories, fat and sugar, and enrich products,” he said.
“While the need and demand for healthier options is clear, we know that consumers will not compromise on taste and it’s this challenge – making healthy food tastier, and tasty food healthier – that our food scientists and application experts are helping food businesses overcome."
Double-digit growth in LATAM
The company published its half-year results today, reporting an 11% increase in food and beverage ingredients profit to £90m (US$115m).
The introduction of mandatory front-of-pack nutrition labeling in Chile and Peru, with Mexico and Brazil moving towards adoption as an opportunity for growth, it said. In the six months leading up to September 2019, it saw a 13% increase in sales of fibers and 43% increase in natural sweeteners, both of which allow manufacturers to cut fat and sugar content.
It has enjoyed double-digit sales growth in Latin America in the past year, with Mexico showing strong sales growth while the dairy category performed will in the Southern Cone. In Brazil, macroeconomic conditions improved and reformulation opportunities continue with customers, the company said.
“Latin America is an important growth market for Tate & Lyle and Brazil – with its large and growing population of 211 million – is a key market for us within LATAM,” a spokesperson for the company said.