To accelerate innovation within Agropur, we have created a process called Inno Agropur that fosters the generation of new ideas both internally and externally and stimulates the creation of new products and processes.
Innovation is at the heart of our development
Agropur proudly provides healthy, authentic products whose excellence we continuously enhance through the process of innovation. Our growth depends on processing milk into innovative, value–added dairy products and ingredients.
Agropur fields the largest dairy-product research and development team in Canada. We spend some $15 million every year on R&D in North America. Our 40,000-square-foot, near-$20-million R&D centre opened in 2008. It is now located in our new LEED Silver certified head-office complex.
To accelerate innovation at Agropur, we have also introduced an organizational process known as Inno Agropur. Our goal is to be an industry leader that exceeds the market’s expectations in order to better serve consumers.
Inno Challenge is a crowdsourcing competition open to innovative thinkers from around the world. Participants are invited to help rethink dairy by coming up with new products, new packaging or new consumption opportunities.
Inno Fabrik is Agropur’s in-house idea-generation program. It brings employees from different departments, backgrounds and points of view together for brainstorming sessions. The concepts selected at these sessions are then submitted to consumers to test their relevance, uniqueness and the level of interest. The most promising ideas are then prioritized.
Inno Expo is Agropur’s big event at which the new product concepts from the Inno Challenge and Inno Fabrik that have been prototyped over the preceding year are placed in competition. This is the ultimate test, in which taste, functionality and originality will set the best products apart from the others. The ones with the greatest potential are selected and move on to the incubation stage.
Inno Boutique is our incubator, an accelerated development process that gets selected product concepts ready for market testing by consumers in just 90 days.
The extraordinary potential of milk
Researchers are just beginning to glimpse certain aspects of milk about which little is yet understood. It has long been known that milk contains vitamins and minerals that are essential for healthy bones and is the best food source of calcium. But researchers are increasingly discovering that milk has unused potential that goes far beyond its nutritional value.
For example, a recent study identified glycomacropeptide (GMP), a protein component that is found in milk and that may help children who have a hereditary disease called phenylketonuria. Left untreated, this disease can cause severe intellectual disabilities.
Thus, by emphasizing research and combining innovation with technology, it is possible to make great strides. Another promising research avenue is the study of secondary microbial flora to produce cheeses with unique characteristics.
Agropur boasts the largest team dedicated to dairy-product research and development in Canada, working at Agropur’s 40,000-square-foot R&D centre in Saint-Hubert, Quebec, Canada. Because we believe in innovation, we invest some $15 million in R&D every year.