AdvancePierre Foods debuts Innovation & Research Center
Cincinnati-based AdvancePierre Foods, a producer of ready-to-eat sandwiches and value-added proteins for brands, including retailers’ private brands, said it opened a customer Innovation & Research Center. The combination of lab space and meeting rooms brings R&D food labs and test kitchens to customers and creates the best opportunities to develop the products needed to grow their businesses.
“The new, interactive space complements AdvancePierre’s integrated product development process, facilitating enhanced cooperation between R&D, consumer insights, marketing and sales, all the while engaging customers at the most critical junctures in the product development process,” said Bernie Panchot, senior vice president of research and development, AdvancePierre Foods.
Co-located with AdvancePierre’s Cincinnati processing facility, the Innovation & Research Center allows all factions of a team to work alongside customers in parallel by providing dedicated spaces for brainstorming and refining ideas, food preparation and testing. The center houses a sandwich and bakery lab; a meat lab; a processing lab; a customer kitchen with adjoining conference room; additional meeting spaces; walk-in pantries, coolers and freezers; and a receiving room. In addition, the space incorporates a sensory lab in which internal screened testers evaluate products to ensure foods deliver the desired taste and eating experience, the company said.
“Customer satisfaction goes far beyond great-tasting products,” Panchot said. “It’s about trend-forward thinking, responsiveness, cost management, speed to market and consistency. It’s about identifying opportunities and solving the problems customers face, whether in a foodservice operator’s kitchen or in a grocery or convenience store setting.
“Heightened customer intimacy and collaboration empower us to detect these opportunities and to better solve these problems, ultimately delivering an experience our customers will crave,” he added.
AdvancePierre’s Innovation & Research Center uses equipment ranging from home and commercial microwave ovens and steam-heating ovens to turbo chef-style ovens, convection ovens, grills and fryers to closely mirror how customers and consumers prepare products, the company added.