To support the numerous products and formulations and to enable the strategic further development of HOCHDORF into a provider of cross-generational Smart Nutrition, the Innovation and R&D division tracks technology trends and ensures the expertise is available to implement HOCHDORF's innovation pipeline. Since the beginning of 2021, the Baby Care, Food Solutions and Process Development departments have been working closely together under the banner of “Innovation, Research & Development” in order to increase innovation and development efficiency and to optimise synergies. This cooperation has resulted in completely new products, such as infant formula based on goat milk and a vegan milk powder substitute, alongside optimised processes and formulations for existing products. The R&D department is responsible for training customers and employees; it also supports the specialist trade, field service and customer hotline staff with its expertise in nutrition and technological application. It is the contact point for all requests for partnerships in the production of speciality foods, for industry partners and start-ups in the food sector or product requests from customers.
In the first half of 2022, HOCHDORF positioned itself more clearly in the Swiss and international food technology ecosystem. As a result, it received numerous enquiries from potential and existing industry partners, go-to-market companies and start-ups regarding technology expertise, white label solutions or optimisation of entire production steps. HOCHDORF's powder drying expertise is also increasingly in demand with the growing interest and focus on milk alternatives. HOCHDORF is concentrating on cooperation here in order to develop future food solutions as a competence partner and to help shape sustainable shifts in the nutritional landscape at an early stage.
A senior external expert with global experience in innovation trends and industry development has been supporting HOCHDORF since spring 2022 with strategic planning, expansion of the cooperation network, product innovations and trends from the market. This collaboration has led to the optimisation of internal innovation processes and a number of binding agreements for further cooperation with industry partners.
HOCHDORF successfully introduced a central digitalisation project across all departments in June 2022: a new PDM (Product Data Management) software uses the formulations to network raw material and product specifications across the company. Suppliers are also directly connected. The project reduces manual adjustments to formulations (media discontinuities), automates processes and work flows and thus has an additional positive effect on quality and safety.