Puratos has always been at the forefront of change, from the launch of the first branded bread in the 1920s. Pura-Malté was based on a mixture of toasted wheatgerm, malt and bran, and was revolutionary for its time.
The Belgian company invests 2.7% of its annual turnover in R&D, employs more than 1,000 scientists in over 70 R&D centres and 90 innovation centres around the world.
“Our centenary is an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to our vision and our values: a robust scientific approach, a constant quest for innovation, with health and well-being as a cornerstone and a deep-rooted belief in the valuable role that food plays in society,” said Puratos CEO Daniel Malcorps.
Plans for 2020
Complementing these efforts this year will be the launch of three innovation centres in Taiwan, Brazil and Mexico.
In Europe, its existing Spanish innovation centre will be fully refurbished with upgraded facilities.
The company also signed two joint ventures in Kenya and Ethiopia in January, to cement its footprint in Africa, strengthen relationships with customers, localise production and develop new concepts using locally-sourced raw materials.
Today, over 90% of the group’s turnover is generated outside Belgium, of which nearly one third is produced in emerging markets.
“We are already looking at the next 100 years in terms of innovation, sustainability and expansion. We have already achieved a €2bn turnover and we aim to reach €5bn by 2030.” Daniel Malcorps, CEO, Puratos
Clean label, sustainability and giving back
The company’s Taste Tomorrow survey confirms health is still a priority for consumers when buying baked goods.
With these results, Puratos continues to improve the nutritional value of its products and launch clearer, ‘cleaner’ labels, as well as organic and plant-based ingredient alternatives.
An example of Puratos’ commitment to sustainability is its responsible sourcing of cocoa. Through Cacao-Trace, the company helps farmers deliver cocoa beans of superior quality, which in turn, earn them extra revenue.
As a family company, Puratos also believes in the importance of making an impact by giving back.
This is addressed through its Bakery School Foundation, which provides educational opportunities for underprivileged youngsters in India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa.
By 2030, the foundation hopes to enable 1,000 young people from developing countries to ‘live their passion’ in one of the Puratos bakery schools.
The company's 100th birthday on February 5, 2020 was celebrated by its 9,500 employees spread across 70 countries.