TIANJIN, CHINA — Nestle SA on May 20 unveiled plans to invest more than 100 million Swiss francs ($103.3 million) to expand and strengthen its operations in China, which is its second-largest market. Plans include the establishment of the company’s first plant-based product production line in Asia in Tianjin, additional investment in its confectionery business in the region, and an upgrade to its Nestle Chengzhen Wafer line.

“Nestle has a strong commitment to China and has long been dedicated to deepening our roots in the Chinese market,” said Rashid Qureshi, chairman and chief executive officer of Nestle Greater China Region. “Since Nestle opened the first factory in Tianjin in 1994, we have continued to increase our investment and regard TEDA (Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area) as one of our important bases in China. We are grateful to the local government for always providing Nestle with such an excellent business and investment environment. In the spirit of Nestle’s ‘Creating Shared Value’ principle, we expect these projects to boost sustainable economic development in local communities by driving food manufacturing expansion and product innovation.”

Nestle said it hopes the focus on its plant-based category and investment in a new production facility in TEDA will help reduce carbon emissions. In 2019, Nestle announced the goal to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Meanwhile, the company said it hopes to build on the success of Chengzhen, a flagship wafer product line launched in 2019. Nestle said the product has been “widely welcomed” in the China market, and the stepped-up investment is expected to be used to help transform the wafer products and expand the annual production capacity in order to provide consumers with more diversified options for healthy leisure snacks.

Beyond the expansion of production capacity, Nestle also said it will upgrade its Quality Assurance Center in Tianjin by further enhancing laboratory testing and quality monitoring services, quality assurance and laboratory capacity-building training, technical support for food safety and compliance testing, and more.

“Having successfully managed the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic with the support of the Chinese authorities, Nestle has decided to increase its investments in China, which is another clear demonstration of our long-term commitment and confidence in the country,” Qureshi said. “By launching a series of innovative products in Chinese markets, we hope to further enhance people’s quality of life and contribute to a healthier future.”