Bunge Loders Croklaan has accelerated customer innovation in the Middle East and North Africa markets with the opening of a new creative studio in Istanbul. The new facility marks the company’s first creative studio in the region and forms part of the expansion of its global innovation network. The ‘state-of-the-art’ studio will provide on-site support to regional confectionery and bakery manufacturers to enable the co-creation of new products that meet regional tastes. According to Bunge Loders Croklaan, there has been a growing number of product launches within the bakery and confectionery sectors in the Middle East, with a particular emphasis on the fusion of regional flavours. The company also said that it will develop solutions with food manufacturers across the culinary and dairy sectors in collaboration with innovative networks such as Le Cordon Bleu. In addition, Bunge Loders Croklaan announced that it will provide training in specific ancillary issues, such as reformulation of products according to new regulations including SAFA, trans-fats, and food safety. “Our goal is to be close to our customers and work with them to streamline product development and time-to-market,” said Renee Boerefijn, director of innovation EMEA for Bunge Loders Croklaan. Boerefijn added: “Whether pioneering products with a balanced nutritional profile or creating more indulgent treats, our creative studios help our customers stay ahead of the competition. A number of new studios are in the pipeline, all designed to guide our regional customers toward effective translation of ideas into winning new products.” The studio will be managed by Öznur Köse, application and technical support manager Turkey. She said: “The new studio in Istanbul is now part of Bunge’s extensive network in Turkey. This allows us to serve regional customers on a broad range of oils, fats and specialty solutions.” The official opening ceremony of the Istanbul Creative Studio is scheduled for October this year.