Cargill unveils upgraded Shanghai innovation center to drive innovation in food and personal care for China and Asia

Providing immersive customer experience for co-creation and open innovation with doubled floor space
Cargill unveils upgraded Shanghai innovation center to drive innovation in food and personal care for China and Asia
Photo - Cargill

Cargill proudly announced the grand opening of its upgraded Shanghai Innovation Center, a key milestone in the company’s commitment to drive innovation and sustainability within the food industry.

With an investment of 30 million RMB (USD 4 million), the center has expanded to more than double its original size to 3000 square meters and is equipped with cutting-edge technology. The Shanghai innovation center will support Cargill’s mission of delivering innovative solutions that address the evolving food and personal care needs of consumers in China and across the Asia-Pacific region. 

Photo - Cargill

A Hub for Future Thinkers and Innovation

The revamped Shanghai Innovation Center is designed to be an immersive customer experience center, focusing on meeting the product innovation needs and ambitions of Cargill’s foodservice, retail, food manufacturing and personal care customers. 

Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including texture analyzers, high-temperature sterilizers, 3D food printers, Lumi analyzers, Malvern instruments, and physical property testers, the center is poised to advance innovations in flavored syrups, cocoa and chocolate, bakery products, edible oils, and health-focused food solutions. 

Additionally, the innovation center features an open kitchen and bar, simulating real dining experiences for customers and providing a platform for customer engagement and co-creation, positioning itself as a collaborative trust partner for clients. This investment in technology enhances Cargill's ability to bring high-quality products to market efficiently, catering to the specific needs of the Chinese and broader Asia-Pacific markets. 

As an integral part of the Shanghai Innovation Center, Cargill’s APAC Beauty Lab is also located here. The Beauty Lab focuses on developing sustainable ingredients for the personal care market (cosmetics) with the mission of providing a broad portfolio of derived natural, performant and cost-efficient personal care ingredients combined with a deep formulation expertise. With extensive formulation development experience for APAC customers, the Lab is capable of swiftly responding to market trends and developing solutions that meet new functionality and formulation requirements in a timely manner. 

While primarily serving the Chinese market, the Shanghai Innovation Center also supports other APAC markets, including Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia. This regional collaboration ensures a rapid response to local market needs and fosters innovation across the Asia-Pacific region. 

“Our investment in the Shanghai Innovation Center underscores our commitment to nourish the world with products that’s better for your health, and also for the planet. We’re using the latest global insights, local expertise, technology and market insights to deliver for the food and personal care industris in China and across Asia Pacific,” said Florian Schattenmann, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Innovation and Research & Development at Cargill. “This enhanced facility will strengthen our ability to co-create for the future with our customers, academic institutions, and industry partners.” 

Supporting China's Food Industry Transformation

China places a high emphasis on innovation as a driver of economic transformation and competitiveness. Cargill’s investment aligns with these national priorities, fostering technological advancements and economic development. By focusing on innovative food solutions and sustainability, the Shanghai Innovation Center will enable Cargill to better contribute to the sustainable development of the Chinese economy. 

Lily Guan, President of Cargill China, said, “For over 50 years, Cargill has been committed to serving customers and consumers in China. Our upgraded Shanghai Innovation Center is a testament to our dedication to helping China’s food industry meet the increasing demand for healthier, more sustainable food options. By leveraging our deep understanding of consumer preferences and market opportunities, combined with our global capabilities and local expertise, we can deliver solutions that are not only innovative but also tailored to the unique needs of the Chinese market.” 

Cargill has been focusing on expanding its research and development capabilities in China in recent years in order to serve this fast-evolving market. In July 2023, Cargill unveiled a Global Innovation Center in Yuncheng, Shanxi Province, which is committed to advancing the swine industry in China and Asia. The company also launched a foodservice innovation space in Pinghu, Zhejiang Province last year, which aims to cater to the fast-growing coffee and tea drinks market with the development of innovative beverage solutions. Other innovation facilities of Cargill in China include another Innovation Center in Beijing, the APAC Regional Applications Center for its personal beauty business in Shanghai, as well as an application center in Hebei province that serves the swine industry. 

Outside of China, Cargill operates two other Innovation Centers in Singapore and Gurgaon India, dedicated to helping its customers innovate healthier, more sustainable, indulgent and convenient food and beverages for Asian consumers.  

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