It may be hard to think of how well-loved chocolate products like Ferrero Rocher and hazelnut spread Nutella can be improved, but the company behind the sweet treats is looking to do just that by opening an innovation centre here yesterday.
The facility - Ferrero's first in Asia - will focus on the areas of health and nutrition, product research and development, as well as mining consumer insights.
The company said it put the centre here due to Singapore's innovative environment and scientific talent.
It is also an important gateway for the South-east Asian region, where it sees growing demand for consumer goods, such as the company's well-known chocolate and confectionery products.
The privately owned firm added that being in Singapore gives Ferrero access to a diverse Asian demographic, so it can develop, test and launch new products for a wide range of growing markets in the region.
Ferrero declined to reveal the value of its investment in the centre or how many people it employs.
A spokesman said that while it has had a presence in Singapore since 2006, this is the first facility it has opened in addition to its office space, which serves as its South-east Asia headquarters.
Ferrero chief executive Giovanni Ferrero said innovation has always been a core value for the Italian firm.
"The centre will support Ferrero in its continuous pursuit of cutting-edge technological solutions to offer our consumers the best quality products that provide new taste dimensions," he said.
The 1,000 sq m complex at the Singapore Science Park near Buona Vista was backed by the Economic Development Board.
EDB chairman Beh Swan Gin said the facility reflects the significance of rapidly expanding consumer markets in Asia, and underscores Singapore's position as the region's leading food and nutrition hub.