SHANGHAI, Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE: PEP) today announced the opening of a new food and beverage innovation center in Shanghai, China. The state-of-the-art facility, which is PepsiCo's largest research and development center outside of North America, will serve as a hub of new product, packaging and equipment innovation for PepsiCo's businesses throughout Asia. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120424/NY93895LOGO) The new facility is equipped with an advanced culinary center and test kitchens focused on developing and tailoring PepsiCo food and beverage brands for distinct, locally relevant taste preferences throughout the region. In addition, the facility will house a pilot manufacturing plant that will allow researchers to quickly test new product ideas and support efforts to significantly accelerate the pace of PepsiCo's innovation in China and other growing Asian markets. It is one of PepsiCo's most integrated food and beverage R&D centers anywhere in the world, a combination that is designed to unlock new opportunities for breakthrough innovation across the company's diverse portfolio of complementary brands and enable greater speed and efficiency throughout the entire R&D process. The new Shanghai facility will also work collaboratively with other PepsiCo R&D locations around the world to share insights and best practices. "Innovation has always fueled PepsiCo's growth engine and enabled us to build a portfolio of great-tasting, convenient food and beverage brands that are loved by consumers around the globe," said Saad Abdul-Latif, CEO, PepsiCo Asia, Middle East & Africa. "The Shanghai facility is a game-changer for our business that we expect will fast forward our innovation throughout the entire region." "PepsiCo continues to build global research and development capabilities that are differentiating our brands in the marketplace and driving attractive new growth opportunities," said Mehmood Khan, executive vice president and chief scientific officer, PepsiCo. "This center will play an important role in our global R&D network by bringing cutting edge technology and innovation to our businesses in China and throughout Asia Pacific and partnering with other PepsiCo locations to achieve new breakthroughs in other parts of the world." The new R&D center was built in line with the criteria established by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), the world's leading green building standard, and uses advanced technologies and processes to conserve natural resources and reduce operating costs.