Wayne Farms breaks ground on $4.5M innovation center

by Joel Crews
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 Wayne Farms
The 15,000-sq.-ft. facility will be adjacent to its plant in Decatur, Alabama.
 
OAKWOOD, Ga. – A groundbreaking ceremony was held May 18 to commemorate the beginning of construction on Wayne Farms’ new, $4.5 million Customer Innovation Center adjacent to the company’s prepared foods facility in Decatur, Alabama. Officials from Wayne Farms, a subsidiary of Continental Grain Co., were joined by local and state dignitaries at the construction site of the 15,000-sq.-ft. facility.

The new building will serve as a research and development hub and feature a commercial kitchen designed to accommodate the product innovation and testing needs of the company’s foodservice and retail customers. The facility will be equipped with ovens and grilling equipment as well as chilling and freezing areas, dry storage and spice storage space. Digital technology will also be part of the design to allow for virtual meetings with the company’s customers. The center will also include a US Dept. of Agriculture-inspected pilot plant where new products can be developed and integrated with Wayne’s production of ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook offerings. Up to 20 employees will work at the facility, where construction is expected to be completed by early 2018.

“Our customers are some of the largest and most respected restaurant and foodservice brands in the world – so the products we’re developing here are products that consumers are enjoying every day,” John Flood, vice president and GM of prepared foods. “This new facility allows us to take a chicken product from the idea stage to the production stage, and produce the item at the scale they need to meet demand – millions of pounds each year."

 

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