General Mills on July 15 inaugurated the company’s first innovation, technology and quality center in China, one of the company’s largest growth markets. The $15 million facility, spanning 75,000 sq. ft., is in Shanghai.
The complex will develop products that include snacks, convenient meals, yogurt and superpremium ice cream. It will house areas for product research and development, food safety, food nutrition research, and food sensory evaluation.
General Mills also operates technical centers in France, India and Brazil. In addition, the company’s Cereal Partners Worldwide joint venture with Nestlé has a research center in Switzerland.
General Mills brands in China include Wanchai Ferry dim sum, Häagen-Dazs ice cream and Bugles and Trix snacks. Sales are now more than $700 million and are epxcted to grow at double digits this fiscal year. Last week, the company announced that it will expand its geographic presence for Haagen-Dazs, adding 80 new shops and entering 16 new cities in China. The company also is preparing to enter the $8 billion yogurt category and has begun construction on a new manufacturing facility in the region.
One-third of General Mills sales are now outside the U.S.