The group has been in a position to develop and acquire leading-edge technologies in the driving sectors of the expanding Food Market. The group’s technologies enable it to sustain policies aimed at competitive advantages in terms of price (premium price) in the group’s core businesses, including UHT Milk and Fruit Beverages.
In particular, the important technological advantages developed with respect to competition are identifiable in: Leading-edge technologies in the production of: UHT Milk (e.g.: infusion), ESL Milk (microfiltration), functional milks (Zymil, lactose-free, calcium plus, omega3, fibresse, new developments, e.g. anti-oxidant), fruit drinks from fresh juice, functional fruit drinks (active drinks, break-fast, top), cream-based white sauces; and Parity to Leaders technologies in the production of: yogurt, probiotic yogurt, low-fat desserts, fresh functional cheeses (low-fat and enriched with functional supplements).
Research & development policy
The group has been the main innovator in the drinking milk market (milk processing with UHT technology, packaging with paper boxed products instead of glass, etc.). Through product and technology innovation it has always been at the leading edge in presenting new consumer solutions to the market.
Product innovations in the individual countries are coordinated with the research developed by the main R&D centre, located in Italy. The Parmalat Group intend to focus its Research & Development policy along four directions:
- Strong rationalization of the number of new products developed locally (about 140 in 2003) through a process of centralized selection;
- Development of new functional products with high added value, for example, the launch of the new Jeunesse brand, a range of cross-category products (Milk, Fruit Drinks, Yogurt, Desserts, Cheese) based on antioxidants to prevent cellular aging;
- Development of production and packaging technologies with a high level of innovation to increase taste and its quality and duration over time, for example, the roll-out of DASI technology for UHT milk in HDPE bottles;
- Development of partnerships with Universities and specialized institutes worldwide in improvement programs in the fields of nutrition and well-being.