The new production facilities will supply the New Zealand and Australian markets with noodles as well as other food products, the reports said. The shift in production is the latest of Nestle's move into Asia, where cheaper labour costs, combined with growing consumer demand for snacks and processed foods, have made the region a lucrative market for international food manufacturers. Although noodle production in Australia is being phased out, Nestle told the local press that the company had recently invested more than Aus$6m (€3.6m) so that the factory could manufacture other products, preventing a huge loss of jobs. "We intend to continue to manufacture frozen prepared meals at Pakenham and we will continue to investigate opportunities to build our frozen foods business," a Nestle spokesperson told the newspaper. In July this year, the company announced it would invest Aus$34.4m (€20.6m) in upgrading its Malaysian manufacturing facilities. Part of the investment plans include new noodle manufacturing machines that dry the product instead of frying it in oil, thereby reducing the fat content. "This breakthrough technology, which air dries the noodles instead of frying them, can reduce fat content by more than 60 to 80 percent, depending on recipe," said Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chairman and chief executive officer of parent company Nestle SA at the time. Nestle noodles will be sold in Malaysia, and will also be exported to other Asian markets including Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, he said.