Research restaurant TestEat opened in Munkkiniemi, Helsinki

News, Press release

TestEat research and pilot project restaurant was opened in IBM's Munkkiniemi premises in Helsinki. The crEATe innovation ecosystem launched by Fazer, VTT and IBM studies and helps to create future solutions for eating and food production in a real restaurant environment with the help of artificial intelligence, for example. For customers, TestEat is a cosy café and restaurant that serves well-balanced and healthy lunch on weekdays.

The heart of the ecosystem established by Fazer, VTT and IBM is the new research and pilot project restaurant TestEat in IBM's Munkkiniemi premises. The restaurant makes use of a lot of modern research technology, such as a depth camera system and an IoT platform, enabling seamless data collection from various items of equipment in the kitchen and the dining room.

"According to our recent trend study, responsibility and well-being are upward trends in the everyday lives of Finns. Food is also important for developing one's identity and mental wellbeing. The trend is towards comprehensive wellbeing where functionality meets feeling. At the same time, the green revolution is expanding. New technologies and innovation ecosystems help us create increasingly more individual solutions", says Hannu Rahnasto, VP, Commercial at Fazer Food Services Finland.

The new TestEat restaurant was opened in IBM's Munkkiniemi premises. It's open for all – you don't have to work in the building to have lunch there. The restaurant includes a comfortable coworking space right next to the restaurant services.

"Artificial intelligence, analytics, IoT solutions and blockchain technology are also transforming the food sector. It is extremely interesting to participate in this cooperation with Fazer and VTT and to be able to use the received data to study and verify how people eat and behave in a lunch restaurant. Our personnel have eagerly waited for the new restaurant all autumn", says IBM general manager Mirva Antila.

New kind of food solutions: the crEATe ecosystem

Cooperation between Fazer, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and IBM aims for an open crEATe innovation ecosystem that produces solutions related to food.

"Applications for the latest technologies are developed together with the end users. In the TestEat environment, we can observe the consumers' choices and attitudes in a real use situation. New sources of protein, snacks that are finalised at the time of purchase, smart packages, digital recommendations and modifications of the eating environment are examples of research subjects that will make use of the restaurant", says Kaisa Poutanen, Research Professor in VTT.

The crEATe ecosystem invites various operators, such as start-ups, to network, study and develop solutions involving future food and food production in a genuine consumption environment. The ecosystem will facilitate the creation of a competency network and produce future solutions in the food industry. The carrying themes of the research and development work include supporting people's vitality, promoting responsible and sustainable food production, as well as producing good user experiences and enhancing the restaurant business.  

Have lunch at the research restaurant TestEat: Address: Laajalahdentie 23, Munkkiniemi, Helsinki. Opening hours: The restaurant is open Mon–Fri from 8 am to 4 pm Lunch is served from 10:45 am to 1:30 pm

Services: TestEat is a cosy café and restaurant that serves well-balanced and healthy lunch on weekdays. The daily options include a separate Wicked Rabbit vegetarian buffet that makes it easy to choose a complete vegetarian lunch. Take away is also available. In the evenings and on weekends, our restaurant operates as a catering restaurant.  

Fazer is an international family-owned company producing quality bakery, confectionery, biscuit and grain products, plant-based meals, milk-free products, take-away foods and drinks, as well as catering and café services. Fazer's mission is food with a purpose. Fazer operates in eight countries and exports to around forty countries. Fazer's success, ever since its establishment in 1891, has been based on the best product and service quality, beloved brands, the passion of its skilful staff, and the group's responsible ways of working. In 2017, Fazer Group had net sales of EUR 1.6 billion and nearly 15,000 employees. Fazer's operations uphold ethical principles that are based on the group's values and the United Nations Global Compact.

Makes the world taste good 

IBM is a technology company specialized in cloud platforms and information processing that utilizes artificial intelligence. The company supports the digital transformation of its customers and entire industries. Innovations and industry capabilities are at the core of our strategy IBM has operations in more than 170 countries.

VTT Ltd is one of Europe's leading research, development and innovation organisations. We help our customers and society to grow and renew through applied research. The business sector and society in general benefit most from VTT when we solve challenges requiring world-class know-how together, and convert them into business opportunities.

Our vision beyond 2030

Demand for food is growing at the same rate as the world population. Food production needs to be both sufficiently efficient and less harmful for the environment than before. The challenge is massive, but big steps have already been taken in the right direction.