What’s your view of the free-from market?
The free-from market is driven by factors such as greater consumer sensitivity to health and the increase of scientific-medical evidence of the relationship between food and health. Faced with this scenario, I anticipate this market will continue to grow. In addition, increased consumer adoption of free-from products drives companies to innovate further, which in turn contributes to the growth of this market.
At Ctic Cita we make it our job to understand the needs of both society and the industry, and then work in parallel to meet them. Our technological watch system and our active consumer listening platform (www.mundosabor.es) allow us to know at first-hand the trends related to food and the industry and to be always at the forefront of the sector.
What can visitors to your Innovation Corner in Barcelona expect to see?
They will be able to directly see our developments in products that are free from nitrates, gluten, sulphites, etc. We will also be presenting in the conference slots “Vegans” and “Free From”.
Is there one particular product you will be highlighting?
Yes, our flagship product, Veggian®, which we will be launching at this successful and amazing food expo! Veggian® is a meat analogue – 100% vegetable – that is free from soy, gluten and other potential allergens and which looks, feels and tastes like meat.
From an industrial point of view, the main advantage of this product is that its production process is easily upscaled. Veggian® is produced with conventional equipment, which is very important in regard to return on investment and the shelf price. It’s very versatile, enabling companies to play with the format and sizes of the product, and create a variety of innovative recipes to surprise consumers.
From the consumer point of view, Veggian® is more than a meat analogue. It is a healthy choice, a clean label, good value for money, and an easy, enjoyable and versatile way to eat vegetables.
So innovation is important to you?
Extremely! We act as a catalyst, accelerating innovation in the industry. We are involved in major initiatives and research projects at international level, and we get results by connecting scientific research with the requirements of the sector. In short, we translate science and make it manageable. In doing so, our work translates into profit for the companies, and improved sensory experiences for consumers.
CTIC CITA is a technological centre created 18 years ago in response to demands from the agri-food industry. We work hand-in-hand with our industrial partners to meet ever-changing consumer needs. We specialize in process and product development, and believe three aspects set us apart:
· The technical expertise of our team in packaging, ingredients, processes and food security.
· Our pilot plants, that allow us to innovate in a variety of food matrices and processes.
· How we team up with companies for the industrialization of these innovations, with a clear focus on market and consumer uptake.
The CTIC CITA motto is “Collaborate for success” which, together with being part of the industry and our professional agri-food partners, is part of our strategic values. It’s something that we will always defend and that our customers value.