Monday, December 5, 2016

Celebrating the 15-year anniversary of a commitment made to innovation


The Product Innovation and Development Center in
Marshall, Minnesota, officially opened on Nov. 30, 2001.
Dec. 5, 2016 — Our company recently held a low-key celebration with employees to commemorate the 15th anniversary of opening our Product Innovation and Development in Marshall, Minnesota.

The building, which opened officially on Nov. 30, 2001, represented an initial $12 million investment into creating innovative frozen foods.

Those visiting the PI&D Center for the first time can sometimes feel like they’re visiting Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. The facility may not have flowing rivers of chocolate, fizzy-lifting drinks or flying elevators, but the building has many interesting features. Some of those features include stand-up freezers with self-opening doors that simulate the freeze-thaw process in grocery stores, a room dedicated to the study of cooking with microwaves, a 3-D printer and a pilot food production area.

The 81,000-square-foot building also includes world-class test kitchens, specialized laboratories and office space designed to inspire creativity and foster teamwork. Today, more than 80 professionals with a broad range of expertise work from the facility. Teams at the PI&D Center are experts in culinary arts, food science, food-safety and quality, consumer affairs, consumer research and regulatory affairs.

Some of the recent projects that teams have worked on at the facility include efforts surrounding the company’s simplicity initiatives and collaboration efforts with the Schwan’s Chef Collective.

“Our Product Innovation & Development teams and the resources at their disposal are dedicated to making delicious and convenient foods that consumers want for their families,” said Stacey Fowler Meittunen, senior vice president of product innovation and development. “It was fun to pause for a moment to acknowledge the company’s commitment to innovation.”

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