Cargill has opened its first innovation center in Singapore to help customers anticipate market forces and shifting consumer values around tastes, nutrition and food safety. It also connects the company’s customers in the Asia Pacific region to a global network of 10 other innovation centers and 2,000 food scientists. The innovation center in Singapore will employ 20 food scientists by the end of 2019.
The company already has two innovation centers in the region — in Beijing and Shanghai, China. It chose Singapore for its third center due to its strategic location and the government’s strong focus on building the country as a global innovation hub.
“Consumers in Asia Pacific want healthy and nutritious food and drinks but do not want to compromise on taste, quality and affordability,” said Peter Van Deursen, president of Cargill’s global starches, sweeteners and texturizers business. “Our new innovation center in Singapore will allow us to collaborate more closely with our customers in this region to create and reformulate products that better suit these changing consumer trends.”
Dr. Koh Poh Koon, senior minister of state for trade and industry, said, “In order to stay ahead, businesses will have to develop products that are tailored to the evolving needs and preferences of Asian consumers. Singapore, with its extensive regional connectivity, strong research base and clustering of innovation activities, is well positioned for companies such as Cargill to harness the growth opportunities in Asia.”
On June 20, 2019, Poh and senior representatives from Enterprise Singapore, the Economic Development Board, Singapore Food Agency and the U.S. Embassy joined Cargill employees, partners and customers for the official opening of the center. Events included an experiential tour and sampling of the innovative products that included healthier chili sauces with natural sweetness, yogurt drinks with fruit and vegetable extracts and bite-sized wafers with a chocolate coating low in trans-fatty acids.
Cargill’s global network of innovation centers provides research and development, applications and technical service support to customers around the world. These centers are closely linked with numerous regional applications and technical service centers, which places the company in close contact with evolving trends in local markets, allowing customers to tailor products to local market tastes.