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Nestlé Strengthens Research and Development Capability in China


Nestlé will double the number of research and development (R&D) units it has in China to further its understanding of Chinese consumers, ingredients and local cuisine, and provide scientific and technological expertise to the rest of the business in Asia and around the world.

The two new R&D units in Xiamen and Dongguan will also support Nestlé’s joint ventures with Chinese food companies Yinlu and Hsu Fu Chi, as well as working on projects with its R&D centres in other countries.

The unit in Xiamen will specialise in ready-to-drink beverages and will support Yinlu, China’s leading producer of ready-to-drink peanut milk and ready-to-eat rice congee.

The unit in Dongguan will have expertise in baked products and will work closely with Hsu Fu Chi, the leader in affordable confectionery, biscuits, and traditional snacks in China.

Enriching experiences

“We continue to invest in our R&D capability in Asia, because we know this brings us closer to local consumers, and gives us a greater understanding of the raw materials used to make the products they enjoy,” said Johannes Baensch, Nestlé’s Global Head of Research and Development.

“Wherever they are in the world, our regional R&D units are global centres of competency for certain technologies. They create proprietary knowledge and focus on growth opportunities for our business.

“They are successful because of the local people we hire and because of the way these people are integrated into our R&D network, sharing knowledge and experience,” he continued.

“We’ve been building our R&D capability in China for more than ten years. The result is a really talented team, and a strong talent pool for the future.”

Committed to China

Nestlé’s investment in Xiamen and Dongguan reflects its long-term commitment to advance nutrition and food science in China.

The company set up its first R&D facility in China in Shanghai in 2001 to support its joint venture with the culinary products producer Totole.

Today, its R&D unit in Shanghai continues to specialise in the development of culinary products for retail, as well as in ‘out-of-home’ products for Nestlé Professional, and ice cream.

It drives Nestlé’s systems innovation in China, including brands such as Nescafé Dolce Gusto.

In 2008 Nestlé set up a second R&D facility in Beijing to provide specialised support in packaging and analytical science, and in the development of dairy, nutrition, cereal, beverage mix, and pet care products.

Beijing also has a major focus on food safety and quality, consumer insights, and basic research in health science.

Together with Nestlé’s facilities in Shanghai and Beijing, the new R&D units in Xiamen and Dongguan will be part of the newly-named ‘R&D China’.

R&D China will continue to build on Nestlé’s existing scientific collaborations with universities and research organisations in the country.
Increasing capabilities

Nestlé’s worldwide research and development network enables it to acquire local knowledge and use it on a global scale.

The company’s investment in China is the latest in a number it has made to increase its R&D capabilities recently.

In June, Nestlé opened a Clinical Development Unit in Lausanne, Switzerland. In August, it announced an addition to its Product Technology Centre in Konolfingen, Switzerland, which focuses on the development of infant formula, dairy products and medical nutrition.

In November, the company plans to inaugurate the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences in Lausanne, as well as its new R&D Centre in Manesar, India.


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