Kraft Heinz, the world’s fifth-largest food and beverages concern, is to open a new €90m innovation centre in Amsterdam’s Zuidas business district next week.
The innovation centre will employ 450 people and help develop ‘the Kraft Heinz of the future’, said Rafa Oliveira, who is in charge of the group’s operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, in an interview in Thursday’s Telegraaf.
‘This is a huge step for us,’Oliveira told the paper. ‘We are not going to develop any new products, we are seeking new methods of growth.’
He said Kraft Heinz will be able to invest more in products and marketing through cost savings generated in Amsterdam. The company opted for Amsterdam because of the proximity of Schiphol airport as well as the city’s talented young labour market, he told the Telegraaf.
The US-based group also operates an innovation centre in Nijmegen and a ketchup plant in Elst, for a total payroll of 800.
Kraft Heinz, which was formed in July 2015 through the merger of two well-established American foods groups, books annual turnover of some €26bn and has more than 200 brand names. Last year, Kraft Heinz made a €134bn bid to acquire Anglo-Dutch Unilever. But swift action on Unilever’s part averted a takeover.
Kraft Heinz has a number of very Dutch brand names, including De Ruijter, Venz, Honig en Karvan Cevitam in its portfolio. These stem from the 2001 acquisition by Heinz of Dutch foods group CSM.