UK-based Diageo, one of the world’s largest producers of spirits and beverages, plans to open a new research and development facility in Shanghai. Construction is due to start by the end of 2021 with operations scheduled to be fully operational by mid-2022.

The new R&D facility will mainly serve China-based customers and aims to develop products specifically tailored to local needs.

Sam Fischer, president for Asia-Pacific and global travel, explained in a company press release: “China’s total beverage alcohol market is the largest in the world in both value and volume terms, and is expected to grow over the next five years. Much of this growth will be driven by strong premiumisation trends that are accelerating as new channels and occasions emerge for international spirits, beer and new-to-world innovations… Together with the recent opening of our major logistics hub in Shenzhen, this facility sets Diageo up for continued success and reinforces our strategic commitment to our business across China.”

Diageo is headquartered in London and employs more than 27,000 staff globally. The company also announced the relocation of its North America headquarters from Norwalk, Connecticut, to Lower Manhattan, New York. The move created 350 new jobs while preserving 150 existing New York-based roles.