The Nestlé Group is upgrading its research and development (R&D) center in Singapore, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.
Laboratory facilities, demonstration kitchens, sensory testing areas, and the group’s basic research center will be included in the new facility. The amount of the investment was not disclosed.
“The modernization of the center with state-of-the-art facilities, including the new R&D gas pedal, is proof of our long-term commitment to the region,” Thomas Hauser, head of group-wide product and technology development, was quoted as saying in a statement.
“We will also be able to respond faster and more effectively to trends and challenges in food and beverage,” he continued.
Vegetable substitutes and recycling
Referring to the development of substitutes for animal-based products, Hauser stressed their growing importance in the portfolio. “Some 300 researchers are currently working in the field of plant-based products,” he said, while reaffirming that “milk is a good food, which will always be there.
The recycling of waste is also a niche where Nestlé seeks to differentiate itself. Hauser pointed to cocoa pulp, which is used to replace refined sugar. “This helps to reduce the pressure on prices, and also provides an added income for farmers,” he said.
Chris Johnson, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Asia, Oceania and Sub-Saharan Africa (AOA) region, insisted that Southeast Asia is the most important market in the region. “We make a third of our sales there and will continue to invest.”
The AOA region had the lowest organic growth (+0.5%) in 2020, with revenues totaling CHF 20.73 billion ($22 billion).
“There will be more and more dairy alternatives in our portfolio, but it’s hard to imagine that these will turn Nestlé into a plant-based group in the medium term,” concluded Johnson.