Ahead of his speaking role at the Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Week, we spoke to Francesco Prinetti, Managing Director at Ferrero Innovation Center, Singapore.

Francesco has led the Ferrero Innovation Center in Singapore since its inception in 2017. In this exclusive interview, he shares with us his innovation strategy and ‘Change by Preserving’ approach, the main opportunities in Asia for Ferrero and how this heritage food brand is connecting with Asia’s innovators.

Francesco Prinetti, Managing Director, FERRERO INNOVATION CENTER, SINGAPORE

Ferrero has a strong heritage. How do you approach innovation while maintaining consumer satisfaction of your globally loved products?

Innovation has always been a core value for Ferrero. Our products are the result of a strong passion for quality and research. A fundamental element of our success is the careful selection of the highest quality raw materials, sourced with full respect for a strict ethical code concerning their origin, harvesting and manufacturing. We strive to preserve our values and heritage while being open to business and technology change, to continue serving our consumers at best.

How are changes in consumer habits and desires impacting your innovation strategy at Ferrero?

Our constant attention towards consumers’ needs is at the foundation of our company policy, inspired by maximum transparency and excellence in quality. Within the global context of growing attention to themes such as nutrition and physical activity, we focus our research strategy and our production investments on the creation of high quality products, carefully developed in terms of their nutritional value and portioning.

The Ferrero Singapore Innovation Center launched in Singapore in 2017. Where do you see the main opportunities in Asia for Ferrero?

Singapore Ferrero Innovation Center is designed to strengthen Ferrero’s position as a global innovation leader and houses several strategic innovation functions in the areas of health and nutrition, new raw materials and product research and development, consumer insight and foresight activities. The decision to place the Ferrero Innovation Center in Singapore was motivated by its strategic location in Asia and its prominent role within the global scientific research community. This offers an ideal platform for experimenting with novel technologies and raw materials with the aim to develop and test new products in a market of strategic importance for Ferrero.

What new technologies and partnerships are most you looking for? Any you can already share with us?

Our goal is to create unique products, developing innovative research and production processes as well as using our own technologies. For us, the aspects that make this journey interesting are the passion for research, the desire to break down pre-existing paradigms, and the exploration of new places far from the traditional fenced-in disciplines. We are actively partnering with researchers, academia, start-ups, small and large businesses, private and public ecosystem enablers to identify, evaluate, and integrate new ideas, technologies, and business models. We are focusing on 6 big areas: Better Nutritional Profile & Sugar Reduction, Raw Material Quality & Availability, Asia’s Raw Material, Supply Chain Traceability, Sustainability and Product Protection.

Francesco Prinetti, Managing Director, Ferrero Singapore Innovation Center will present a keynote entitled ‘Change by Preserving: Embracing Innovation, Consolidating Ferrero’s Heritage & Values’ on Friday November 22 at the Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Week.