The 144,000 square foot facility, is one of 12 ‘centers of excellence’ for global product and process development, including a package and design lab.
Nestlé R&D Solon is an expansion of the company’s presence in Ohio
Roz O'Hearn, corporate & brand affairs director, Nestlé USA, told FoodProductionDaily Nestlé R&D Solon is an expansion of the company’s presence in Ohio, which includes: Nestle Prepared Foods (with Stouffer’s, Lean Cuisine and Buitoni brands); Nestle Pizza (with DiGiorno, California Pizza Kitchen, Jack’s and Tombstone) and Nestle Baking (Nestle Toll House refrigerated and frozen doughs).
Nestlé Professional’s Culinary Business is also located in Solon which produces frozen meals for both retail and foodservice.
“The package and design lab will help us develop trays and other packaging to protect the meal through its transport from Nestlé to supermarkets all the way to the consumer’s kitchen,” said O'Hearn.
“Our goal is to achieve excellence in creative package design, multi-use applications and cost-effective materials. Working alongside consumer researchers and engaging in rapid prototyping will allow us to move more swiftly to meet consumer needs.
“Nestlé has long offered a variety of package sizes to meet the needs of our consumers, whether they are snacking, dining alone or with friends and family. We’ll continue to evolve as the consumer does.”
The R&D centre will also work on reformulating Nestlé’s frozen and chilled food products, exploring ways to reduce sodium and saturated fat, eliminate partially hydrogenated oils, incorporate more vegetables, and offer gluten free and high-protein alternatives for existing products in the market.
Food processing, food quality, & food safety
In total, the company has 39 research, development and technology facilities globally. For example, in Marysville, Ohio,Nestlé operates an R&D center focused on ready-to-drink beverage development, premium coffee and tea.
“We currently employ 120 chefs, consumer researchers, packaging specialists, designers, engineers, and scientists at the Solon R&D centre. We’ve added 40 to the team since we announced the project in 2013,” added O'Hearn.
“There are many different opinions about what’s healthy, what’s responsible and what tastes great. For Nestlé it’s our responsibility to satisfy these diverse demands and to continue to innovate.
“Establishing this center will allow us to do a better job of anticipating what consumers will want in the future, so we’re better prepared to give them what they need and want, faster.”
The team will also provide expert technical assistance to Nestlé production facilities around the world, as well as guidance in 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.