Mondelez has announced an investment of £4.7 million in their Reading Science Centre. The company, which owns brands such as Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, Green & Blacks, and Oreo, is set to create 50 jobs there over the next five years.
Developing new products
The Reading Science Centre employs 290 specialists at current count, in positions such as those available. They help to develop new products, such as the 30% reduced sugar Cadbury’s chocolate bar which was launched just recently.
It’s not just the UK market which benefits from this research and development, as the centre’s work is applied in 150 countries around the world.
This investment came as part of an ongoing plan which aims to boost their research and development facilities over time, giving more investment where it is needed. The Reading Science Centre is not the only one that Mondelez relies upon, and they plan to develop a global network of these research hubs that will stretch across the world and represent the various countries in which they have a market presence.
Continued investment and future priorities
Louise Stigant is the UK Managing Director at Mondelez. She said in a statement that the investment into the centre would “play a vital role in developing products for consumers not just in the UK, but across the world”. She also noted that the investment they were planning was of the utmost importance to ensure that the company continues to “meet the changing needs of consumers while maintaining a competitive edge”.
The Food Minister, David Rutley, has spoken highly of their decision to make the investment. He used the opportunity to highlight how important the food research sector is for our national economy.
He pointed out that the food and drink manufacturing sector is responsible for £31 billion of the UK’s annual economy, and that it employs more than 440,000 people in this country alone. In light of this, Rutley said that the “UK government is committed to working closely with the industry to see this success continue”.
This is not the only development to have come out of the Mondelez camp in recent months. They have been buried deep in negotiations with Australian biscuit firm Arnott’s, with the aim of acquiring the company for what will no doubt be a large sum of money.
However, the latest reports suggest that talks have come to something of a stalemate. It remains to be seen whether the management will be able to come to a deal that suits both sides, but if they do, it will be one more important notch on Mondelez’s belt.
The importance of a research and development team to a company of this size cannot be understated. When they are able to come up with a new piece of information that could be vitally important, it can affect not just one brand but all of the brands under that umbrella.
Imagine, for example, a packaging innovation that will shave a penny or two off the price of production for each product. Spread across not just the production run of that line, but all lines run by Mondelez under their various different brands, this kind of change could save millions with ease. This is why getting it right is worth more than this £5 million investment.