Accelerating nutritional solutions: Nestlé Health Science launches new US R&D center

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04 Dec 2018 --- Nestlé Health Science has opened a new US$70 million R&D facility in Bridgewater, New Jersey, US, in an effort to establish a global research and development hotspot to reinforce the company’s nutritional expertise.

“The opening of the Nestlé Product Technology Center comes at an exciting time when the potential for science-based nutritional solutions is accelerating,” says Thomas Hauser, Senior Vice President, Head of Global Product & Technology Development for Nestlé. 

“With this advanced center leading the way, we’re able to leverage Nestlé’s global R&D efforts here in New Jersey to rapidly translate science into innovation for consumers, patients and healthcare professionals. We’re also advantaged by the fact that the facility is co-located with the US headquarters of Nestlé Health Science, allowing for deep integration between the R&D and commercial sides of the business in our largest market,” he explains.

Nestlé Health Science has a global network of R&D facilities that promotes its efforts to “empower healthier lives through nutrition,” the company says, adding that the Bridgewater Nestlé Product Technology Center will serve as its network’s lead facility. 

“We currently have around 30 R&D Centers globally, in many different parts of the world. We will announce new centers as they open,” Nestle’s Corporate Spokesperson Rumjhum Gupta tells NutritionInsight

Click to EnlargeNestlé’s presence in New Jersey is a reflection of our shared commitment to leading the way on innovation and sustainability. Their investment here is proof that fostering a stronger, fairer economy provides more growth, not less,” says Governor Phil Murphy. 

The R&D center has several capabilities, including rapid phototyping and sensory science, for example. Furthermore, it aims to fortify Nestlé’s efforts to reduce packaging and produce lighter weight products as part of the company’s goal to make 100 percent of its packaging sustainable by 2025.

Greg Behar, CEO of Nestlé Health Science, says: “We approach sustainability as the right way to do business. Our science-driven nutrition portfolio continues to evolve towards cleaner recipes based on more sustainably sourced ingredients while improving our environmental footprint including packaging.”

A pilot run of the Nestlé Product Technology Center began in August and it managed to renovate Boost Kid Essentials to reduce sugar, remove artificial colors and simplify ingredients in the launch of Compleat Organic Blends – Nestlé’s line of nutritionally complete tube-feeding formulas. Additionally, it introduced new formulas for Boost and Carnation Breakfast Essentials, providing more protein. 

Nestlé claims that these launches deliver on consumer demands for simplified formulas, organic alternatives and higher levels of protein. 

“At Nestlé Health Science, our growth strategy is driven by continuing to meet the needs of a diverse set of consumers and patients, aligned with market trends. This requires agility, faster speed-to-market and greater collaboration as we evolve our core portfolio of products in areas like healthy aging, diabetes and pediatrics, but also as we develop new nutritional solutions in oncology, food allergies and gut health, among others. We are already seeing the benefits of uniting our R&D and commercial teams in one location, and we are excited about the future as we seek to change the course of health for people and patients in the US and around the world,” adds Behar.

In May, Nestlé scooped the highest ranking place in the 2018 Access to Nutrition Index (ATNI), reflecting its overall performance in nutrition-related commitments. Meanwhile, FrieslandCampina improved the most since 2016, climbing four places in the ranking largely thanks to a new strategy to tackle under-nutrition and more responsible marketing commitments. However, the ATNI state that many companies are still doing too little in the realm of nutrition. The ATNI is the third Global Index that ranks the world’s 22 largest food and beverage companies on their contributions to addressing the twin global nutrition challenges of overweight and diet-related diseases and under-nutrition.

Nestlé is also exploring strategic options for its Skin Health unit, after the company’s board concluded that the future growth opportunities of Nestlé Skin Health increasingly lie outside the group’s strategic scope.

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