Nestlé's latest multi-million dollar facility in South Auckland will help ramp up gluten-free production and boost exports the company says.
The company, which produces Maggi and Docello products as well as confectionary like scorched almonds and Kit Kats, has invested $2 million in creating a dedicated gluten-free facility.
Its Wiri site exports more than $60m in product each year and chief executive Veronique Cremades said the new facility would enable the company to grow its gluten-free product offering.
"Our international research and development program now allow us to create high quality gluten free products that taste great and maintain texture," Cremades said.
"Gluten free no longer means compromise."
One in 100 New Zealanders are diagnosed with coeliac disease which requires a strict gluten-free diet, Cremades said.
Demand for gluten-free products was growing worldwide, offering significant opportunities for the company.
Prime Minister Bill English who opened the factory, was quick to comment on how positive the expansion was in the wake of the announcement that Cadbury's Dunedin factory would likely close next year.
He said the investment by Nestlé was a sign that New Zealand's manufacturing sector was still performing well.
The Wiri site employs around 280 people and Nestlé professional country manager Eleni Gonzalez said the investment would allow the company to focus on expansion.
"While we have been increasing our gluten free range for some years, capacity constraints have limited the range," Gonzalez said.
"This new facility gives us significant additional capacity, with room to grow."