ATLANTA, GA. -– Townsend Specialty Foods, the Atlanta foodservice business unit of Delaware-based Townsends, Inc., has opened its new Innovation Center located north of Atlanta. The facility provides Townsend to create poultry products and respond to consumer trends by working with foodservice customers to achieve their goals, the company stated.

“We are bringing innovation to the table,” said Tom Weisser, Townsend chief executive officer. “In today’s fast-changing market, savvy new product development is more important than ever. The emphasis of our new Innovation Center is on customer-driven product development and solutions that will help Townsend’s foodservice customers stay ahead of the trends.”

Townsend’s Innovation Center will utilize expertise both inside and outside the company, including the knowledge of the research and development team, technical sales and consulting chefs with input from suppliers and customers. The team intends to offer a blend of personal attention, culinary insight, practical processing experience and relevant menu solutions to top national and chain foodservice operators in the marketplace, the company said.

The center’s location enables Townsend to cultivate key alliances with long-term ingredient suppliers, who will provide benefits such as pilot plant partnerships, sensory evaluation testing and on-the-spot ingredient adjustments that will greatly enhance Townsend’s success in satisfying the foodservice industry’s speed-to-market demands.

Existing research and development functions at its processing facilities in North Carolina and Arkansas, such as addressing processing efficiencies, adjusting product formulations and maintaining product quality, will continue.