Mondelēz International, one of the world’s largest snacks companies, announced it is investing $6 million in its Reading science centre in the UK to support the development of new chocolate, biscuit and candy products, serving over 150 different countries.

Mondelez International is home to some of the UK’s most popular brands including Cadbury Dairy Milk, OREO, Ritz and many more.

The Reading Science Centre is currently home to over 290 scientists, chemists, food technologists and other specialists. The new investment will result in the creation of 50 highly skilled food science and engineering jobs over the next five years.

The announcement is aligned with the company’s strategy to develop a global network of state-of-the-art technical hubs strategically positioned around the world.

The new Reading investment comes on top of the company’s previously announced global investment of $65 million in its eleven technical centres around the world.

“Our mission at Mondelēz International is simple – to offer consumers the right snack, for the right moment, made the right way. And our global Technical Centre network is crucial to support this,” said Rob Hargrove, executive vice president, research, development and quality.

“Reading is our largest global R&D centre dedicated to research work and, as such, it’s a central hub for food testing and analysis for all our product categories. This new investment will enable us to further accelerate our understanding of the science behind our products.”

Louise Stigant, UK managing director at Mondelēz International said: “Over the last seven years, we’ve invested over $25 million into our research centres in Reading and Birmingham and they play a vital role in developing products for consumers, not just in the UK, but across the world.

“This extra investment will allow for the creation of 50 highly skilled jobs. It will also help accelerate our growth strategy, offering innovative chocolate, biscuit and candy products that meet the changing needs of consumers, while maintaining a competitive edge in the markets of tomorrow.”