The Co-operative Group has opened a Taste Centre at its new headquarters in Manchester.
The Taste Centre has four fully equipped, high-spec kitchens, which will be used to develop The Co-op’s own-label products as well as to monitor the quality of existing lines.
There are also five sensory booths, which will be used for blind tastings - testing about 1,100 products a year against competitors.
The centre will also be used by the society’s taste team to review about 350 potential new products a year, with home trials then conducted to ensure they make the grade before appearing in stores.
A state-of-the-art wine tasting room has also been installed at the site.
The society opened its new HQ, at One Angel Square, in February this year. Staff are gradually moving into the new offices from nearby buildings. It will eventually be the base for 3,500 staff, including 1,000 workers from the company’s food business.
One Angel Square is also the most sustainable large office building in Europe. It is designed to deliver a 50% reduction in energy consumption and an 80% reduction in carbon.