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Singapore Well-Positioned to Serve as Asian R&D Hub for Global Consumer Brands:

May 12, 2014 - Singapore

American juggernauts with a multinational presence have selected Singapore to open their consumer research centres in the last two weeks, indicating Singapore’s attraction to multinational consumer brands who wish to cater to the consumers of the Asia-Pacific market.

Ingredion, a global food company from the US that has established 15 offices in 12 Asia-Pacific nations, has announced their decision to open its regional headquarters in Singapore last week, for the research and development (R&D) of their food ingredients and products. This follows Coca-Cola’s collaboration with A*STAR, Singapore’s scientific research agency to conduct consumer research two weeks ago, cementing Singapore’s position as a regional centre for consumer research.
Playing host to the biggest consumer brand names in the global arena, Singapore has so far inked partnerships with not only the world’s largest beverage company, but also with the planet’s largest food company, Nestle earlier this year too.

“One of the objectives for these consumer titans to embark on partnerships with Singapore is because the city-state is possibly the most-primed nation in the region to accurately capture the ever-changing consumer needs. This country is the test kitchen for many global titan consumer companies, and for many more in the future”, said Ms. Cheryl Lee, Operations Manager at
Asian consumers are no longer easily contented with repackaged Western-imported products, and have become more sophisticated and demanding with the rise of the middle class affluence. Accounting for over 80% in international middle class expenditure, Asian consumer market represents an economic value of US$55 trillion for US$21 trillion in 2009. As a result of this, many multinational consumer companies from industries like food and nutrition, healthcare and cosmetics have begun paying more attention to attuning their products to cater to the preferences of the Asian consumer market while maintaining their global brand consistency.
Singapore has been enormously successful in that regard. Apart from being an incredibly easy place to do business according to the World Bank, the prosperous South-East Asian island serves as a valuable gateway to understand and access the consumers of the Asian-Pacific region. Singapore’s multi-ethnic and cosmopolitan population comprising of the three major Asian phenotypes; Chinese, Malay and Indian, makes the vibrant nation highly attractive to conduct cohort studies in to understand the ever-changing consumer needs and develop customized products for the 3.4 billion strong Asian market.
Singapore also has a base of integrative, state-of-the-art research capabilities that is coupled with a robust talent base to cater to the R&D of a variety of consumer products. The nation’s 14 research institutes and the S$77 million Institute of Asian Consumer Insight that was launched in March 2012 are testament to the country’s ambition to become the one-stop centre for global businesses to understand the needs and preferences of the Asian consumer.
As a result, Singapore is today the home to the R&D centres of Nestle, Proctor & Gamble, and Johnson & Johnson (J&J). A*STAR has been a crucial player in the budding consumer research industry of Singapore, and has facilitated various collaborations with the world’s biggest consumer companies to help innovate their brands and products.
As the region’s consumer insights hub, Singapore flies its flag high as the thought-leader and top pick for global juggernauts like Abbott and J&J also because it is advantageously and strategically positioned in the crossroads of the East and West.
“We at are confident that many more international consumer companies will be setting up consumer research centres here in Singapore”, affirmed Ms. Lee.
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Source: Business Wire India


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