CHINA – The multinational food and drink company, Nestle has opened a new Research & Development center (R&D) in Beijing, China to accelerate trend-based innovation and meet consumer demand in the Asian region.

In addition, the company has also unveiled a System Technology hub in Shenzhen with a goal to strengthen collaboration with Chinese partners and suppliers in the area of systems.

The new R&D center will focus on creating new food and beverage products that meet the changing tastes and preferences among the Chinese consumers as well as other customers in Asia.

The center features state-of-the-art facilities including rapid prototyping and packaging labs and a consumer insight area.

“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.”

It boasts of 40 R&D specialists working across multiple product categories, with expertise in sensory sciences, food technology and nutrition.

The experts who are charged with a goal to drive innovation in food and beverages, will also collaborate with local universities and innovation partners.

The site located near the Nestlé China Headquarters also houses the Nestlé Food Safety Institute in China.

The Shenzhen System Technology Hub is part of Nestlé System Technology Centre in Orbe, Switzerland.

It is home to engineers and technologists who works on new system technologies capable of turning ideas for beverage systems and components into customer-centric products.

“We are constantly looking for opportunities to increase the speed of our trend-based innovation,” said Nestlé CTO Stefan Palzer.

“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, Nestle launched Xingshan, a new brand of ready-to-drink herbal drinks and soups made with traditional Chinese ingredients developed by its new incubator team in China.

This was in commitment to leveraging innovation platforms and internal incubators to speed up product development, to meet rapidly changing consumer tastes.