Food technology and ingredients company Kerry Group has officially opened its Southern Europe Innovation Centre in Barcelona in Spain, as part of company's expansion of its presence in the region serving Spain, Portugal, Italy and France.

Kerry said the new facility will combine its current office in Barcelona with a new customer suite and applications labs.

It will operate in conjunction with technology centres in Vigo and Granada, as well as the global taste centres of excellence in Grasse in France and Mozzo in Italy.

Kerry said the new facility will allow it to work more closely with customers in the South European region to develop solutions across food and beverage categories, including retail manufacturing and foodservice.

The launch of the new centre brings Kerry's investment in Iberia to more than €200m in the last four years.

The company set up its first commercial office in Barcelona in 1998, while its first manufacturing investment in Spain came with the acquisition of Vendin in 2016.

More recently it has completed the strategic acquisitions of Hasenosa, Pevesa and Biosearch Life.

Juan Soto, VP and General Manager for Kerry South Europe, said the company's investment will help it respond to customers' needs at pace.

"Kerry's strategic investments in the region underscore the emergence of Southern Europe as a very significant base for food manufacturing and innovation. We are excited to further the delivery of our insights and technologies across taste, plant based, food waste and health and bio-pharma in the region," he added.