Muntons PLC, malted ingredients manufacturers based in Stowmarket Suffolk, has announced it is to establish a state-of-the-art Centre for Excellence on the site of its factory in Stowmarket, UK.
The £500,000 facility which is being built from scratch, will become a focus for innovation and new product development as part of efforts by Muntons to enhance and increase the range of services it offers food manufacturers.
The new Centre for Excellence will house a New Product Development (NPD) kitchen, a sensory testing room, a bakery, and a micro-brewery and winery, enabling Muntons and its customers to work more closely together on developing new product concepts and improving existing ones. Due to open in January 2010, the centre will reduce the cost of NPD and cut the time required to bring new and improved products to market.
Jonathan Pritchard, Muntons’ Technical Sales Support Manager, said: “The Centre for Excellence will greatly improve our customer service by enabling us to respond more proactively to product enquiries than is currently possible. We will be able to produce development samples internally at lab scale, rather than relying on third party or full-scale plant trials, which means we can cut the cost and turnaround time of NPD projects significantly. Put simply, our new Centre for Excellence will give us much greater control of the NPD process.”
The difficult economic environment had not deterred Muntons from building the Centre for Excellence, he added. “This investment will ensure we and our customers are in the best position to identify the benefits that malted ingredients can bring, and improve our understanding of the potential applications of these ingredients. Yes, it is costing us a lot of money in times where many other malt producers are primarily thinking about how to cut costs. But this is a long term investment that will allow us to continue to innovate in a progressive way.
“Ultimately, the new Muntons Centre for Excellence will give us a much better understanding of how our malt and malted ingredients can help our customers to make healthier products, better products and products that can improve their profitability.”
About Muntons PLC
Founded 80 years ago, Stowmarket-based Muntons produces a range of malt products and malted ingredients for sale at retail and for use by food and beverage manufacturers. Major users of malted ingredients include: brewers, distillers, bakers and breakfast cereal manufacturers. Please visit www.muntons.com.