The site will work on new product development for Kraft’s international chocolate business. Flagship brands include Toblerone and Terry’s and those acquired with Cadbury, bought by Kraft in January 2010 for £11.5bn.
A Kraft spokesman told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “The decision recognises not only the unique heritage of the Bournville site, which has been here for 132 years, but also the knowledge and skills that already exist within the business here.
“Prior to the acquisition it was already a thriving centre of innovation and Kraft didn’t want to lose those skills.”
The spokesman would not be drawn on the main priorities of the Bournville team, and whether they were likely to include healthier formulations for existing brands.
“We can’t reveal what we’re looking at,” he said. “There are some products that may not come to market for several years. We are looking for products which will enhance our portfolio as one of the leading chocolate manufacturers globally.”
In a related move, Kraft has created 44 new jobs at its global science centre in Reading. The spokesman said the roles included analytical scientists and technicians, working on a range of projects.
The 98 new jobs bring the combined workforce at Bournville and Reading to 650, the spokesman added.
Meanwhile last month Kraft confirmed that it had spent £4.5M installing new equipment to manufacture chocolate drinks in-house at its Chirk factory near Wrexham.
The company also said that it planned to sell its Somerdale site within months.