Nestlé aims to accelerate trend-based innovation in China as it inaugurates a new research and development centre (R&D) in Beijing and a system technology hub in Shenzhen.
Located close to the Nestlé China headquarters, the new R&D site includes prototyping and packaging labs as well as a consumer insight area, and will create new food and beverage products for consumers in China and elsewhere in Asia.
More than 40 specialists will be employed at the facility, working across multiple product categories. They will collaborate with local universities and innovation partners. The site also houses the Nestlé Food Safety Institute in China.
Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider said at the opening event: “China is one of the fastest-changing food and beverage markets in the world, and a significant growth driver for Nestlé. We are strengthening our local R&D capabilities so that our teams can work faster and more efficiently to turn great ideas into the latest must-have products for consumers in China.”
The Shenzhen system technology hub is an extension of the Nestlé system technology centre in Orbe, Switzerland.
Nestlé said the location of the new facility near leading beverage machine and system manufacturers will enable it to turn new ideas for beverage systems and components into reality. Engineers based in Shenzhen will also scout new system technologies relevant for Nestlé’s global beverage businesses.
Nestlé CTO Stefan Palzer said: “We are constantly looking for opportunities to increase the speed of our trend-based innovation. The proximity of the R&D team to the Nestlé China headquarters and of the system technology hub to our suppliers and manufacturers will enable a strong collaboration that will help Nestlé push the boundaries by bringing breakthrough innovations to the market faster.”
Last year, Nestlé launched a China incubator team, which released a range of ready-to-drink herbal drinks and soups made with traditional Chinese ingredients. The company said the development of the Xingshan range shows how it is adapting to meet rapidly changing consumer tastes.
In its full-year results published last month, Nestlé was boosted by sales growth in China, supported by innovations in infant nutrition and coffee.