- Campofrío, the Spanish Nutrition Foundation and the Alicia Foundation have analysed the key to innovation and the important role it has to play in nutrition and food.
- A total of 70% of Campofrío’s investment went to projects related to health and wellbeing.
- The company’s latest example of its commitment to innovation is the introduction of the first chicken and turkey breast sausages in the market.
What is the role of innovation in today’s companies?Consumer habits are constantly changing and innovation is an essential element in order to meet growing consumer demands.In this regard, Campofrío has doubled its investment in R&D over the last six years. In fact, 70% of this investment goes towards projects related to health and wellbeing and 15% of Campofrío’s sales are expected to come from future innovations over the next few years.
José Manuel Ávila, General Director of the Spanish Nutrition Foundation (FEN), Fabiola Juárez, head of health-related projects in the Alicia Foundation, Jesús Rodríguez, director of R&D at Campofrío Food Group (CFG) and Laura Álvarez, Product Range Manager at Campofrío España, have analysed the key elements of innovation in this industry, the work carried out in this area by Campofrío in recent years and the essential coordination between R&D, marketing and nutrition and food experts when it comes to meeting consumer requirements.
An example of this are the new chicken and turkey breast sausages developed by Campofrío with the collaboration of the FEN, with which Campofrío has been collaborating for 25 years.The Foundation helps “companies in their innovation processes so consumers can choose from among a wide range of products, always aiming to follow a healthy lifestyle", pointed out the general director of the FEN. According to Álvarez, “9 out of 10 parents say their ideal dishes are tasty, low-fat, additive-free foods that do not require long cooking times and which their children enjoy, but 6 out of 10 admit that these are not readily available” on the market.
Sausages are eaten in 7 out of 10 Spanish households and they are often included in family menus. So the new chicken and turkey sausages are yet another solution that meets these consumer requirements.
They are the first and only low-fat sausages on the market, with less than 3% fat, which is a very similar percentage to that of a fresh breast of chicken or turkey. As Ávila indicated, “they are a protein-rich, low calorie-food. Furthermore, they are gluten and dairy free and they do not contain preservatives or added phosphates or food dyes". The general director of FEN, José Manuel Ávila and Fabiola Juárez, a nutritionist at the Alicia Foundation, agree that these sausages contribute towards a varied, balanced and nutritional diet which, "accompanied by other products such as vegetables, are a healthy alternative when planning weekly meals".
Rodríguez also indicated that Campofrío began innovating in the 1980s, for example, with the launch of Pavofrío in 1987, which led Campofrío to become "the first company to introduce and normalise the consumption of turkey in Spain, which was practically non-existent at the time" and which today has a penetration rate of 81%. Today, the R&D department, centralised in Spain, has a research unit for the whole of Europe, made up of over one hundred experts from various backgrounds.The company has also been working with various organisations over the years, including the Spanish Heart Foundation, universities (Burgos, León, Granada or Ghent) and a number of technological centres (IRTA, CARTIF, etc.).
In this regard, Juárez from the Alicia Foundation pointed out that “research is necessary in terms of both gastronomy and science”. Only by getting everyone involved, will the lifestyles and wellbeing of consumers improve and revolutionary food products and innovations will emerge. Innovation is a long distance race to meet the growing consumer demand for new products and, as the director of R&D at Campofrío pointed out, it is also “Campofrío's commitment to continue leading the sector and providing society with added value”.