Nestlé has opened a $50 million global research center dedicated to transforming the way the world consumes frozen and chilled foods.
Located in in Solon, Ohio, the new 144,000 square foot Nestlé Research & Development Center will balance consumer-centered innovation with technology leadership.
Although the center’s mission is to sustain global needs, its location in Ohio reflects the growth in size and complexity of Nestlé’s frozen and chilled foods businesses in the United States. That growth made an expanded and collaborative research and development effort necessary, the company said.
In addition to developing R&D strategy for Nestlé’s worldwide frozen and chilled foods businesses, the researchers will focus on product innovation and renovation that meet both Nestlé’s Nutrition Foundation requirements and balance taste with nutrition, by exploring ways to reduce sodium and saturated fat, eliminate partially hydrogenated oils, incorporate more vegetables and create gluten free and high-protein options.
The team also will provide expert technical assistance to Nestlé production facilities around the world, as well as guidance in the important areas of nutrition, food processing, food quality and food safety. Incorporated into the design is a pilot plant where the latest technology advancements and new recipes can be evaluated and refined for introduction into the marketplace.
Nestlé R&D Solon is one of 12 “centers of excellence” for global product and process development, opening it to the full breadth and depth of the world’s largest private food and nutrition research and development network and fostering information sharing for Nestlé businesses across the world, including factories in Germany, France and Italy.
In February, Nestlé USA committed to removing all artificial flavors and FDA-certified colors from all of its chocolate candy products by the end of 2015. The change will affect the company’s current portfolio of more than 10 chocolate brands and 250 products, including Nestlé Crunch, Butterfinger, Baby Ruth, Skinny Cow, Raisinets, Goobers, Sno Caps, 100 Grand, Oh Henry and Chunky. New versions of the products will begin appearing on store shelves by mid-2015, and will be identified by a “No Artificial Flavors or Colors” claim featured on-pack.