Swiss food giant has revealed that it plans to double the number of research and development facilities it operates in China from two to four next year. 

The two units will be located in Xiamen and Dongguan and will support the development of Nestle brands in the region as well as its joint venture businesses in the region, Yinlu and Hsu Fu Chi. The centres will also work with R&D institutes based in other countries in the Nestle group. 

"The two planned R&D centres in China will be part of Nestlé's R&D network and therefore supporting all brands/products on which the corresponding research may be applicable," a spokesperson for the company told just-food today (18 October). 

The unit in Xiamen will specialise in ready-to-drink beverages and will support Yinlu, while the unit in Dongguan will have expertise in baked products and will work closely with Hsu Fu Chi, Nestle revealed. 

The company said the move was a step in its efforts to deepen its connection with Chinese consumers and ingredients. 

Speaking during a conference call following the release of Nestle's third-quarter results this morning, Nestle China chief Roland Decorvet emphasised the importance that Nestle attaches to the development of products designed to meet local tastes. 

"We [develop] products developed specifically for the Chinese consumer... taste is local... we don't want to import our taste in food," he told reporters. "We also try to have local suppliers."