Food & beverage industry
The best groundwater in the world, the availability of key raw materials and the excellent location in terms of logistics are significant reasons why one of Finland’s largest food industry clusters is located in the Lahti region. The Lahti region is particularly home to grain processing businesses in the beverage and bakery industries. Together with the local farmers, these businesses form the largest and most diverse cluster of grain expertise in Finland.
Food and beverage is also one of the key themes of the Smart Specialisation Strategy of the Päijät-Häme region. The food industry in the Lahti region and the universities play a central role in the Food Campus Finland platform, which is part of the national growth program for food export.
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Best water in the world
The Lahti region also supplies businesses with the best groundwater in the world – straight from the tap! The daily amount of groundwater filtered by the eskers of Salpausselkä amounts to 100,000 m3.
The Päijät-Häme region is home to the most significant cluster of grain expertise in Finland. The evolving, modern Päijät-Häme Grain Cluster has built a system of active interaction between primary production and the manufacturing industry.
The location of the Lahti region is superb in terms of logistics and domestic and international distribution: 80% of the domestic market is within a 1.5-hour journey, while an international airport is an hour away.
In addition to grain producers, the Lahti region is also home to numerous producers of berries, fruit and vegetables as well as milk and meat.
Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology (LUT) and LAB University of Applied Sciences support product development and research, and they train new skilled employees for businesses together with Salpaus Further Education.
Development and testing environment
The Food Pilot Plant product development and research environment supports food industry companies in the development of new plant-based products.
Expert of Finnish grain – from bran to germ
The Päijät-Häme Grain Cluster represents the entire value chain from farmers to industry and retail – from large listed companies to smaller bakeries, breweries and traditional mill operations.
The Grain Cluster has significant ongoing investments in the Lahti region. These investments, EUR 165 million in total, will be implemented by 2023 once Viking Malt builds a new malthouse in the Pippo-Kujala area. The value of this particular investment is EUR 90 million. Fazer will expand its mill operations and bring the production of xylitol back to Finland by investing EUR 50 million in a xylitol factory to be built in Lahti.
The businesses involved in the Päijät-Häme Grain Cluster are constantly evolving as the eating habits of consumers and trends change. The businesses have also been at the forefront of circular economy; they are continuously seeking new applications for their side streams and creating new business out of side fractions. Learn more about the Grain Cluster businesses.
EUR 165 million
EUR 600 million
Great flavours and new products from the Lahti region
Internationally awarded wines, ciders, salmiakki (salty liquorice), coffee roasteries, local wines, bottled groundwater, organic sausages – these are examples of the diverse local food industry.
Water brands and bottling plants aiming for the international market have developed around this exceptionally clean groundwater. There are a total of 82 processed food businesses in the Lahti region. Among them, bakery businesses are the most numerous, followed by businesses that process vegetables, berries and fruit.
The Lahti region offers room and opportunities for bold ideas and new businesses that appreciate quality, skills and clean raw materials!
Product development and research
New, healthy and sustainably produced products are trialled and developed continuously. For example, the number of grain-based products has increased and become more diverse rapidly. High-level research and product development is being conducted in the Lahti region to commercialise and process oat, for instance.
LUT University and LAB University of Applied Sciences support the product development and research efforts of businesses. The Food Pilot Plant, a product development and testing environment jointly built by universities and food industry companies, supports companies in the development of new plant-based products. The research space can be especially useful for the production of product trial batches, testing new raw materials, experimenting with new manufacturing techniques and processes, and analyzing raw materials and products. The product development environment covers an area of 600 m2 and includes an extraction room, bottling and carbonation room, fermentation and distillation area, grain handling room, laboratory, social facilities, storage, a cold room, and a control room.
Research and pilot projects aimed at making use of side streams in many ways are also carried out based on businesses’ needs.
The confectionery producer Fazer is planning an enormous confectionery factory investment in Lahti. It will be the largest investment in the industry in years. One of the factors that led to Lahti being chosen was that “the location is great in terms of logistics from the perspective of customers, storage facilities and important harbours”.
- Markus Hellström, Managing Director of Fazer Confectionery | Read Fazer’s bulletin
Watch videos of the Päijät-Häme Grain Cluster’s beverage and bread chain
Also read stories about food from the Lahti region:
Relocate to the Lahti region – we will help you
We support food industry businesses in growing and relocating to the Lahti region. Lahti Region Development LADEC has solid knowledge of the food industry businesses in the region and the networks of the Päijät-Häme Grain Cluster.
For businesses looking to relocate to the Lahti region, LADEC offers services such as identifying collaboration opportunities and potential partners as well as introducing the business to the region’s business networks.
Read more about our relocation services!