ADM is the latest global food giant to plough investment into Singapore with the opening of a new innovation centre to meet rising consumer and customer demand across Southeast Asia.
The firm officially opened its flavour and ingredient innovation centre at the Biopolis research hub in Singapore yesterday, in a move that will see’s ADM’s workforce in the City State swell from 100 to 150.
Company executives said the 8,900-square-foot (825-square-metre) space would help better meet the needs of its regional customers, while also enabling it to focus on ingredient and product solutions tailored specifically to the tastes and demands of Asian consumers.
“Consumer tastes and preferences are changing, as people look to balance busy lifestyles with healthy eating habits. Our goal is to be the first-call ingredient and flavour experts for customers working to meet those consumer needs throughout Southeast Asia,” said Donald Chen, ADM’s president, Asia.
“Singapore is a critical hub of innovation and growth in the food and beverage world, and we are excited to leverage our technology, expertise and global scale to help Southeast Asian food and beverage customers remain at the forefront, and to offer job creation and talent development opportunities for scientific, technical, marketing and regulatory professionals in the food and beverage industries.”
Vince Macciocchi, president of ADM’s WILD Flavors and Specialty Ingredients business, said the new roles would include food scientists, flavourists and applications experts, along with sales, marketing and regulatory personnel. He said he was confident that the new recruits would be from the local community.
The new innovation centre features a wide range of capabilities, including a food and flavour analytic lab; a beverage and dairy applications lab and pilot plant; a bakery and confectionery lab; a meat and savoury lab; a sweet creation lab; sensory evaluation facilities; and a customer innovation centre.
Macciocchi said the new centre mirrored that which opened in Sydney last March.
“This new facility is yet another important step as we continue to enhance our portfolio and our capabilities around the globe,” he added. “Consumers are looking for new, innovative foods and beverages, and ADM continues to invest to ensure that we are the go-to solution providers for clean labels, sustainable ingredients and great taste”
ADM currently has more than 1,000 employees throughout the wider Asia-Pacific region, where the company operates a wide range of processing facilities, including several animal feed facilities, a flavour and ingredient facility, and a sweetener and soluble fibre complex in China; food and flavour labs in Japan, China, Singapore and Australia. It also owns a 24.9% stake in Singapore-based agribusiness and packaged food oils company Wilmar Limited.
ADM acquired WILD Flavors in 2014 in a $2.3bn deal in a bid to tap into the trend for natural flavours.
Former WILD executive Macciocchi oversaw the integration and will be the subject of our next Asia’s Food Leaders video series, which will be online next week.
Source: Gary Scattergood, Food Navigator Asia