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Foodcorp opens innovation centre in Cape Town

CAPE Town is renowned for its cultural diversity and its reputation for innovation and creativity. Adding yet another notch to this already extended belt; the Mother City now boasts South Africa’s very first innovation centre, thanks to food manufacturing giants, Foodcorp.

At an official launch event on Thursday, 9 October, Foodcorp CEO and the mastermind behind the innovation centre concept, Justin Williamson unveiled the all-new 7th Floor situated in Black River Park, Observatory. Set in an 800m2 penthouse floor, the 7th Floor consists of a development kitchen; dining room; bar; three meeting rooms; a Weber balcony and, of course, a Theatre of Food.

According to Williamson, the 7th Floor was created to address innovation within Foodcorp and, in addition, place it as a food marketing company as opposed to just another food manufacturer. The aim of the Innovation Centre is to set Foodcorp apart from the rest, positioning it as the most innovative food company in South Africa.

“We continuously strive to be the best in the industry, keeping on step ahead of the rest. Our shared passion for food combined with our creative and adventurous nature allows us to venture into territories that others may fear. The 7th Floor shows our commitment at retaining and remaining the leaders in creativity and innovation within the food marketing and food manufacturing industries,” adds Williamson.

Industrial in design and complete with state-of-the-art equipment and appliances, Foodcorp spent approximately R7-million on the 7th Floor Innovation Centre. Total spend for the development kitchen, the heart of Foodcorp’s Innovation Centre, amounted to approximately R1.6-million. This space will allow for product development and will be open to all Foodcorp’s retail partners for product demonstration.

At the cutting edge of green design, the Innovation Centre is complete with solar heating, efficient waste programmes, water recycling and energy saving appliances and equipment. Mac Brothers Catering Equipment supplied the equipment that can be found in the Foodcorp development kitchen. With specific instructions to include only energy efficient products that are top performers at minimum running costs, Mac Brothers sourced only the finest equipment for Foodcorp’s Innovation Centre.

In addition to all of these features is an important piece designed and created to celebrate the creativity, technology and skills of the 7th Floor. The wall art installation piece, situated on the entrance wall, is entitled “The Artifacts of Eating” and is a self contained exhibition of the implements that embody society’s relationship with the preparation and enjoyment of food.

In an unprecedented recycling campaign, over two thousand individual pieces of cutlery were sourced from around South Africa. Each artifact contains within it a history of having been a prized possession within a household and, collectively, their assembly speaks of the formal, functional and ceremonial meaning all people attach to food.

The installation culminates in a large blank ‘dish’ onto which various images will be projected. In contrast to the static elements that talk of the history, the flow of projections represents the future of the 7th Floor as a dynamic institution that generates an ever-changing array of contributions to the South African table.

At the head of the Innovation Centre is GM, Simone Falconer. Simone has seen the centre through its paces and watched it develop from concrete floors and bare ceilings to a space that will cultivate creativity.

“I spent a lot of time travelling the world, visiting various innovation centres and development kitchens so as to assist us in formulating the correct mix for the 7th Floor. My past experience in food development, as well as contacts made with innovation directors and other major companies, helped with bringing Justin’s idea to fruition,” comments Falconer.

Foodcorp’s 7th Floor will be available for venue rental as well, thus Capetonians will also be able to experience the innovation first hand.

For information contact Simone Falconer on 021 448 5743 or e-mail simone@foodcorp.co.za.

About Foodcorp

Foodcorp is the holding company for a group of businesses engaged primarily in the production, marketing and distribution of food. Created in 1992 following the merger between Kanhym and Fedfood, Foodcorp has grown to become one of South Africa’s largest food companies.

Foodcorp’s most distinctive characteristic is the balance and diversity of its product portfolio in which branded value-added products, such as its prepared foods, and basic foods such as mielie meal complement each other.

Foodcorp continuously strives to extend its product range and build on the strength of its brands. The group sustains profitability by using cutting edge technology and its agribusiness to produce food at the lowest possible cost.

Divisions of Foodcorp

Lifestyle

Gull Foods – Woolworths exclusive prepared food supplier

Seemanns – processed meats

Fifers Bakery – exclusive bakery supplier to Woolworths

Piemans Pantry – pies; most retailers and forecourts

Weber Braai

First Gourmet

Foodcorp

Nola – Ouma Rusks; Glenryk Pilchards; Nola Mayonnaise; Canola Oil, Yum Yum Peanut Butter

Ruto Mills – Wheat Milling

Sunbake Bakeries

Marine Products – pilchard and hake fishing and exporting

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