Bidvest Test Kitchen

Bidvest Food opens fabulous new innovation centre in Cape Town

Bidvest Food SA recently unveiled a brand new, state-of-the-art Centre of Innovation, Design and Technology in Cape with the aim of offering customers the very best in product design, research and development.

John Morris, managing director of the Crown Foods Group says, “We believe that there is always more we can do for our customers. Today’s customer has become more sophisticated, more demanding. They want and expect more in terms of customisation, ‘newness’, quality and price.”

Morris comments that it has been the vision to transform the group’s existing Centres of Excellence into modern and superior facilities, making the group the leading ingredients supplier in Africa.

The facility is established in Cape Town to ensure close proximity to the product development centres for the major supermarket chains as well as many of the blue chip companies it services.

He describes the new facility as an “out-of-this-world, interactive, sensorial experience, stimulating the senses through visual, audio, tactile, taste and smell and leaving a lasting impression of the innovation and technology we provide.”

Bidvest Sensory PlantIt is divided into various sections showing off the technical competence of international principles, an innovation database, a sensory evaluation laboratory (left), test kitchen (top) processing capabilities and development expertise.

The facility includes inter-leading, specialist pilot plant amenities for all the food sectors including, meat, convenience foods, sauces and condiments, dairy and beverages.

Each of these pilot plants is equipped with the latest equipment which accurately emulates the scale of process in large operations. The facility can be used to conduct factory trials in simulated conditions at a fraction of the cost normally experienced when testing in full-scale operations.

Bidvest Theatre of FoodThe new Theatre of Food (left) will be open for use by various institutions and as a facility for trade meetings for other Bidvest Group members, universities and customers.

Morris says, “Our international principals have welcomed this initiative as it not only serves as a base for their local activities but also emulates the work they conduct in their own facilities.”

The principals will be linked via video conferencing facilities to the centre and also to all the trading branches in order to offer on-going support in the form of lectures, demonstrations, training, interactive workshops, meetings and general communication.

It has taken the group nearly seven years to build and resource the Crown Food Ingredients manufacturing operation in Cape Town and more recently it upgraded the Chipkins Bakery Ingredients manufacturing operation in Johannesburg.

The biggest and most significant change for the Crown Foods Group has been the decision to build the So Good Foods Sauces and Marinades Plant.

Dawid Muller, marketing executive for the Crown Foods Group says: “This has further enhanced our vision to be self-sufficient and offer differentiated services to the industry.”

Coupled with all these new facilities, he adds that Bidfood Technologies employs skilled technical staff who are well associated with the products and solutions offered by its international principals.

To make use of the facilities in Cape Town, contact the Crown Food Ingredients Pilot Plant and Auditorium on 021 527-6100.