US food giant Kraft Foods is looking to take on almost 100 more R&D staff in the UK.

The Cadbury Dairy Milk maker wants to recruit 98 employees to work in on research and development at its sites in Bournville and Reading.

Over half the new staff, some 54 workers, will be based at Bournville, the flagship production site of UK confectioner Cadbury, which Kraft controversially acquired last year. After the takeover, Kraft designated the Bournville site, set up in 1879 by the Cadbury brothers that formed the company, as its “global centre for excellence in chocolate R&D”. 

The other 44 staff will be located at Kraft’s “global science centre” in Reading. All staff will work across all of the company’s product categories.

Kraft refused to be drawn on much money the company was investing behind the expansion to its R&D workforce but a spokesperson said it was spending GBP6m (US$9.7m) on the Reading site. The Bournville site had had GBP135m spent on it over the last five years, the spokesperson added.

In 2010, Kraft generated 9% of its global revenue from sales of new products. The company is looking to up that amount to 13% by 2013.