Nestle has invested CHF49m (US$53m) to expand its chilled and frozen food R&D capabilities through the opening of a new facility in Ohio.

The new site will feed into Nestle's global research and development network and will focus on frozen and chilled products, such as pizzas and prepared meals.

Announcing the move, Nestle said the investment demonstrates its commitment to "improve the nutritional profile" of products by "using more whole grains and by reducing the amount of certain ingredients such as salt, fat and sugar, without compromising on taste".

"We have a long and successful history of making tasty and nutritionally balanced foods," said Johannes Baensch, Nestle's global head of R&D. "This investment will further enhance our scientific and technological expertise in frozen and chilled foods, to help us to continue to develop innovative nutrition health and wellness solutions for our global business."

Construction is expected to begin this summer and Nestle expects the new facility to be operational in late 2014.

In the frozen category, Nestle has focused on improving its value perception through improved recipes and nutritional profiles.

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By GlobalData

Last year, the company said the strategy resulted in "generally improving share trends", with innovation driving sales. However, in its most recent quarterly update, Nestle revealed its frozen business delivered "mixed" results in the US. The group said DiGiorno pizza and Stouffer's growth offset weakness in the Lean Cuisine business.