Mondelēz International is investing £4.7 million into its UK food research and development programme to support the creation of new and improved chocolate, biscuit and candy products for over 150 different countries.
The owner of Cadbury, Oreo and Green & Black’s will use the funding to expand its Reading science centre in the UK.
The facility is currently home to more than 290 scientists, chemists, food technologists and other specialists. A further 50 food science and engineering jobs will be created during the next five years.
“Over the last seven years, we have invested £23 million into our research centres in Reading and Bournville in Birmingham and they play a vital role in developing products for consumers not just in the UK, but across the world,” said Louise Stigant, UK managing director at Mondelēz International.
“This extra investment will allow for the creation of 50 highly skilled jobs. It will also accelerate our growth strategy, offering innovative chocolate, biscuit and candy products that meet the changing needs of consumers, while maintaining a competitive edge in the markets of tomorrow.”
UK food minister David Rutley added: “I welcome this significant investment from Mondelēz and the exciting work that this leading food manufacturer is doing to research and test new and improved products across its global operations.
“Research and development is vital to increasing the productivity, competitiveness and growth of our food and drink manufacturing sector, which contributes £31 billion to the UK economy each year and employs more than 440,000 people.”
Mondelēz said the announcement is aligned with its strategy to develop a global network of technical hubs around the world to accelerate its growth and innovation.
Last year, the company launched the SnackFutures innovation hub, which aims to capitalise on emerging growth opportunities in the snacking segment.
The hub established three targets to capitalise on opportunities in the global snacks market and respond to changing consumer demands: inventing new brands and businesses in key strategic areas, reinventing small-scale Mondelēz brands with large-scale potential, and venturing with start-up entrepreneurs to establish new businesses.
Earlier this year, Mondelēz announced a collaboration with Israeli food-tech incubator The Kitchen.
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