The market for margarine is stagnating, even shrinking. This is due to the increasing image problems of margarine compared with butter (artificial vs. natural), changes in eating habits and the fall in the price of butter. In 2013, in response to tremendous challenges in the existing core business, the Nutrition business unit initiated the "Kolumbus" project with the aim of identifying and evaluating new sales markets and business areas.

With the “Kolumbus” project, Mibelle Group Nutrition joined forces with Input Consulting AG in order to search for new business areas outside of the production of spreads and cooking fats, its current core business. With an open innovation approach, using a variety of methods and a combination of creative and analytical approaches to generating and selecting ideas, more than 700 ideas were finally transformed into a promising business concept. This was given the project name “FATec” and the theory is now being put into practice in close collaboration with the ETH Zurich and a first pilot customer. The goals set at the beginning of the project with regard to growth, securing earnings and export possibilities are already within reach.

Mibelle Group Nutrition was awarded the “Innovation” prize for this project at the ASCO award ceremony.