The official opening of Hershey’s new research and development (R&D) center in Johor, Malaysia, on May 11. This new facility will enable Hershey to quickly develop, test and launch new products customized to the tastes of consumers across the region, and will become one of Hershey’s largest R&D facilities outside of the United States.

“The facility will act as a central hub for the company's operations across the AEMEA region within countries in the Asia Pacific including India and China, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa,” says Herjit Bhalla. “Our new R&D Center reflects our ongoing commitment to understanding the preferences of consumers across the markets.”

The 10,400 sq.-ft. facility is a significant investment in the Malaysian market and will house R&D laboratories, a packaging development facility and a sensory area, which will enable the company to partner with various innovation teams to taste-test and shortlist iconic products known and loved by consumers across the globe.

“This investment is just one example of how Hershey is continuing to reinvent the science of confectionery through internal and external innovation,” says Philippe Zehnder, senior director R&D, International. “The new facility will allow our talented teams to gain deeper insights into consumers by enabling them to conceptualize, test and develop some of the most innovative products across the region.”