UK – Mondelez International is investing US$6 million at its Reading Science Centre in the UK to accelerate research and development of new products for various markets.

Serving over 150 countries, the investment will support creation of new and improved chocolate, biscuit and candy products to address the evolving consumer needs and preferences.

It is expected to create 50 highly skilled jobs, both food science and engineering over the next five years.

The company said the investment is part of strategy to develop a global network of state-of-the-art technical hubs strategically positioned around the world while supporting a growth-oriented innovation agenda.

This is set to improve speed, efficiency and effectiveness as it looks to capitalize on changing consumer trends and emerging growth opportunities.

“Our mission at Mondelēz International is simple – to offer consumers the right snack, for the right moment, made the right way,” Rob Hargrove, Executive Vice President, Research, Development and Quality.

“And our global Technical Centre network is crucial to support this.

“Reading is our largest global R&D centre dedicated to research work and, as such, it’s a central hub for food testing and analysis for all our product categories.

“This new investment will enable us to further accelerate our understanding of the science behind our products.”

The Reading Science Centre is currently home to over 290 scientists, chemists, food technologists and other specialists.

It is part of a global network of eleven technical centres in key locations in Brazil, China, India, Mexico, New Jersey, Poland, Singapore, UK, France and Germany.

The new Reading investment comes after the company announced that it is investing US$65 million in international research and development hubs.

Last year, Mondelez invested US$5 million in its Global Technical Center in Wroclaw, Poland, serving both local and global brands.

The innovation efforts are reinforced by SnackFutures, an initiative structured to bring in great talent, partnerships and funding focused on well-being, premium brands and digital capabilities.