Pepperidge Farm and Campbell Soup Co. executives broke ground on a 34,000-square-foot innovation center in a ceremony at Pepperidge Farm's headquarters in Norwalk. Campbell president/CEO Denise Morrison and Pepperidge Farm president Pat Callaghan were joined by Norwalk Mayor Richard Moccia and other state and local officials to celebrate commencement of the project.
The $30-million investment supports Campbell's strategy of continuing to drive growth in baked snacks. It also reflects the company's efforts to accelerate innovation across its Baking and Snacking portfolio, the company's second-largest reporting segment, which includes both its Pepperidge Farm unit and its Arnott's biscuits unit in Australia and Asia Pacific. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, Campbell reported that its Global Baking and Snacking segment sales increased 17 percent.
Morrison said, "Pepperidge Farm has a long track record of innovation, and this project is key to our plans to accelerate the rate of innovation in baked snacks. The center is designed to foster greater collaboration and creativity in a setting where we can combine our culinary and baking expertise with our understanding of consumers' needs."
The innovation center will house a state-of-the-art pilot plant with product development and testing lines, culinary kitchens, scientific labs and meeting rooms. This will enable Pepperidge Farm employees to conduct initial research and testing of new product concepts in a more convenient and cost effective way and deliver new innovative products to the marketplace faster than in the past.
"Pepperidge Farm was actually founded on innovation in 1937 by Margaret Rudkin, a 40-year-old homemaker living on a property called Pepperidge Farm. That was where she began baking and perfecting the all natural, whole grain bread that launched our organization," said Callaghan. "The new facility will allow us to continue answering the question that Margaret was famous for asking: 'What's Next?'"
The center will be designed as an environmentally-friendly, LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) "green" building and will employ a variety of energy efficiency, water conservation and day-light harvesting techniques, and will use recycled building materials in the construction. Campbell recently received LEED Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council for the Campbell Employee Center in Camden, N.J.
Designed by The Dennis Group, Springfield, MA., and Perkins Eastman, Stamford, CT, the innovation center will be an extension of Pepperidge Farm's headquarters and connect to the main building by a glass enclosed internal walkway. The project is designed to create a more contemporary and productive workspace for the 275 Pepperidge Farm employees at its headquarters.
Once the new facility is completed in fall 2012, Pepperidge Farm's headquarters will include approximately 115,000 square feet of office and research and development space. The company also leases 33,500 square feet of space at Norwalk's Norden Place Office Park.
Source: Campbell Soup Co.