In 2006 this creamy cheese came out of Aula of Lactose Produce in Lugo. At this time it was a sort of commercial challenge and some of the producers ahead of the game in Lugo pointed that this cheese would be a smashing hit. Nine years later, their prognostications have become a reality. This new stepping-stone in cheese making at the University of Santiago de Compostela turned out to be a company in the end: Innolact. A venture capital over 400 thousand euros was invested in the original produce. In 2014 Quescrem -the brand name- cashed in over 6.5 million euros. The name itself in Spanish means spread cheese. One new component in its production is the rennet whey taken from buttermilk.
That college room at Lugo in the beginning was the embryo of a process, which allowed Innolact to produce this creamy cheese from Castro Riberas de Lea (Castro de Rei, Lugo). 50 different kinds of this cheese are distributed around the world-about 3 countries get the taste and flavor of this Galician cheese. A successful spin-off cheese making company, a college idea that has become a fast growing financial hit. It is based upon a new technology, which includes the use of co-produce from the milk sector: it is low cost and very good value for money. Large food corporations such as bakery, pizza and dessert companies are Innolact´s main clients.
[box size=”large”]Quescrem, its trading name, has a vast catalogue distributed in over 35 countries[/box]
“At the beginning, it came up to us quite quickly, once we, The College Lactose Research Room at Lugo, began to experiment with a new technology with spread cheese through cheese raw materials like flavors, produce, Organoleptics”, says assistant manager, Carlos López Mosquera. At first we took some losses because we did not distribute or sell the cheese, but from 2010 onwards we started to even out our losses. Our company now is doing great. The financial forecast for 2015 is that we will go well over the 7.2 million euros of revenue, barely over 11% more than last year.
This spin-off company is working in concert with other 7 research company groups and 5 more on a project to show the healthy benefits of native Galician produce. It is called Galiat 6+7, which also is responsible for wine, olive oil, mussels, grelos (a type of turnip green from Galicia) berzas (Galician cabbage) and, of course this new sort of creamy cheese. The research doesn’t stop here. 40 employees, of which 32 work full time around the clock, and another group of 6 researchers keep the steam of the project going at the I+D department. 8% of their revenue is dedicated to this type of research for the business.
Their new line of products include a lactose free cheese, which is heat and freezing and defrosting resistant, a cheese with olives and with San Simon flavors, Torta de casar (Casar Cakes)… And the first organic spread cheese in Spain, which has been promoted by The Bio Factory. This cheese think tank of ideas and lactose research does not stop here. It is a great idea, which is setting new trends and a new stepping stone in the cheese sector worldwide and it was born in this little college room in Santiago. A new cheese is born at college in Galicia.