Unilever has opened its first research and development centre in Russia for ice cream.

The facility, located in the Tula region, will be used for the development of ice cream, Unilever said this week. Staff at the centre will develop new formulations and formats of ice cream, improvement of production technology, in addition to the selection of new raw materials and packaging.

Unilever invested EUR4.5m (US$5.9m) in the centre in what it calls a “unique” project for Russia. 

“Today, every fifth ruble spent by Russians on ice cream is accounted for by Inmarko products. Buyers appreciate our products for their excellent quality and natural recipe. This centre will allow us to significantly expand the range of products, and in the future to carry out [production] in the heart of Russia, the world innovator in the field of ice cream,” said Ozgur Kolyukfaki, head of Unilever’s ice cream and food products for Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.