The new facility in Wroclaw - which is expected to host 250 scientists, engineers and other specialists - will be fully operational by the first quarter of 2017. Once up and running, it will focus on research and development of Mondelēz power brands such as Cadbury Dairy Milk, Milka, Oreo, BelVita and Barni.
“The new center will conduct research on quality, packaging, consumer preferences and expectations, along with consultation on food regulations,” Malgorzata Babik, Mondelēz corporate affairs manager for Poland and the Baltics, told ConfectioneryNews.
Wroclaw: advanced infrastructure
“Wroclaw is a great location, in the middle of Central Europe, with advanced infrastructure," said Babik. "It is also close to our other factories in the region where local renowned technical universities educate bright young minds, some of whom we would like to employ at our new center.”
Mondelēz has been in the Polish food market for 24 years and operates seven factories across the country. In addition to manufacturing global brands such as Oreo and BelVita, the company produces poplar local products including Milka Snax.
The European snack market had grown an average of 2.3% annually for the past four years, Babik said, which she added was about 45% faster than the main meal market.
“We have been reporting good results in Poland and Europe, and have a great opportunity to build our competitive edge as the leader in the main categories," she said.
Growing well-being snack market and e-commerce in Europe
Mondelēz is aiming to tap two “noticeable” trends in the confectionery and snack markets through the new R&D center: well-being products and e-commerce.
“Our goal is to be the global leader in well-being snacks, with about half of our portfolio in the well-being space by 2020, up from about a third of our portfolio today,” Babik said. “We are targeting 70% of our new product development efforts to well-being platforms over the next five years.”
Mondelēz is also aiming to be the leader in the e-commerce snacks space.
“E-commerce could become one of our fastest-growing platforms, with revenues from e-commerce increasing to more than $1bn by 2020.” Babik said.
Mondelēz recently partnered with China’s Alibaba to tap the country’s growing e-commerce channel.