Eurest Colectividades, the social catering company, chooses the Basque Country to develop its R&D
• The AZTI technology centre will develop this research for the company, a benchmark in its sector
• The initiative has the backing of the Basque Government to drive innovation, research and technology development as the basis of the economic future of the Basque Country.
Eurest Colectividades, a benchmark social catering company in Spain, has chosen the Basque Country to develop its R&D activity, by means of its strategic agreement with AZTI, the expert technology centre in food innovation. This decision follows on from the success achieved by the strategic cooperation agreement in place between Eurest Euskadi and AZTI for the research and development of new food products that are nutritionally improved, healthier and that foster the more active use of local produce. The choice of the Basque Country for the Eurest Colectividades food research lines is a significant endorsement of the scientific work implemented by AZTI in recent years and further proof of how innovation projects are being attracted to the Basque Country.
The Eurest Colectividades decision also highlights the strategic link between the business and scientific worlds as the main way to achieve greater competitiveness within the food sector. Both the company and the technology centre are committed to sustainable and healthy food that offers consumers food adapted to their specific needs.
This strategy to draw and attract investment and private initiative companies to the Basque Country has had the backing of the Basque Government’s Ministry for Economic Development and Competitiveness, which seeks to consolidate the Basque Country as a benchmark country in Europe in the sphere of R&D&I, while at the same time as generating and maintaining skilled jobs and with a high valued added.
The research and innovation processes that Eurest Euskadi is carrying out and which is now being extended to Eurest Colectividades overall will be focused on designing and reformulating products to produce healthy mass-catering menus within the school, senior residential and business (Business & Industries) sectors. The aim is to make the menus healthier and adapted to the specific dietary, nutritional and sensory requirements of population groups. The five strategic research lines are: new culinary techniques for the school segment, healthy ready-made dishes, preserving nutrients, cutting freezing times, studying cooking shrinkages and establishing service portions.
The actions that AZTI will be implementing for Eurest Colectividades are in line with the targets of the Basque Government’s Science, Technology and Innovation Plan 2015 and with the health core area in the RIS3 specialisation strategy. It ultimately aims to strengthen the modernisation and creative and innovative capacity of companies and drive greater value added productions that enables access to markets with greater potential value by means of research and the application of technologies.
About AZTI and Eurest Colectividades
AZTI, the expert technology centre in food innovation, with experience stretching back over 30 years, and an international presence in over 45 countries, has a team of more than 200 experts geared towards shaping ideas that, once transformed into products and services, generate business initiatives and revive and preserve the natural resources.
Its work in this case will be to use its scientific expertise to contribute the innovation and technology development needed to address the challenges facing the food industry, by providing innovative solutions through new products and technologies. Moreover, it provides an integrated and global approach to food and the product, while respecting the environment and with the consumer as the cornerstone.
Eurest Colectividades, belonging to the Compass Group, is one of the leading companies in the social catering sector in Spain, where it has been operating for 50 years. With a workforce of over 12,000 people, the company operates through the Scolarest, Medirest, Eurest, Vitarest, Eurest Services, Vilaplana Catering and GOW trademarks. In the Basque Country, the customers of its Eurest Euskadi company include the main hospitals of the Osakidetza [Basque Health Care] network, leading private and public schools and major companies such as Petronor and Vicrila, along with managing the restaurants and cafeterias of the Bizkaia (Zamudio) and Araba (Miñano) technology parks.
It is known for its direct contact with the end consumers which ensures in-depth knowledge of the mass-catering market, along with the nutritional requirements of population segments, that it transforms into menus.