Kerry opens new customer-focused R&D center

June 24, 2009

With Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle leading the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Kerry officially opened its new 260,000-sq-ft Innovation and Technical Center in Beloit, Wis., on June 23. Built at cost of $50 million, the Kerry Center provides industry access to all Kerry ingredients and flavors technologies through dedicated customer-application suites, culinary theater, sensory services, analytical labs, and customer-application pilot production facilities.

The customer-application pilot facilities—separate rooms with various processing equipment—are segmented by product categories and include sweets, beverages and sweet flavors, baking and chocolate, frozen sauces, dry blending, wet sauces/sweet fillings, cheese and dairy flavors, savory flavors, cereals, dryer technology, prepared meals, bars, dairy/frozen dessert, bakery, beverages, frying, and meat—raw, cooked, and ready to eat. The facilities allow Kerry technicians and scientists to work side-by-side with their customers and food companies to test and scale-up new products.

Speaking at the official opening of the Kerry Center, Kerry Group Chief Executive Stan McCarthy said, “Our new customer-focused center of excellence builds on the Group’s ‘go-to-market’ strategy—leveraging Kerry’s unrivaled range of technology-based ingredients, flavors, and integrated solutions in food and beverage growth markets.

“Kerry’s systems approach to innovation capitalizes on our breadth of ingredients and flavors technologies and unique end-use-market applications capability—working in collaboration with our customers to derive maximum synergies from this industry-leading expertise. This creates real value for our customers by way of quick delivery of consumer-relevant product development, product improvements, cost reduction, or process enhancement.”

Three customer-application suites—residential, restaurant, and beverages—include a meeting room with multimedia capabilities and an adjoining kitchen and product demonstration room. A culinary theater enables Kerry’s culinary experts to demonstrate new product applications. Customers can record these demonstrations for later review. The center also includes two sensory areas, where Kerry’s employees—who are trained panelists—can provide instant feedback on new product concepts or reformulations.

Located on about 175 acres, the new R&D center houses approximately 550 employees, including more than 200 food scientists.