Salisbury, Pa.-based Ahold Delhaize is opening a fresh processing facility and culinary innovation center in North Kingstown, R.I., to test fresh private brand concepts.
The company announced that its Infinity Fresh Kitchen, a subsidiary of Retail Business Services, the services company of Ahold Delhaize USA, will process fresh items for the company’s area Hannaford and Stop & Shop stores, including cut fruit and vegetables; leaf, grain and pasta salads; sandwiches; and wraps and other grab-and-go items.
“As the services company of Ahold Delhaize USA, the largest grocery retail group on the East Coast, Retail Business Services is charged with finding innovative solutions that enable the local grocery brands we support to focus on serving their customers,” said Roger Wheeler, president of retail business services. “Infinity Fresh Kitchen is the latest example of this innovation, which will help our retail partners bring the latest fresh, convenient items to their customers.”
The facility will also house a culinary innovation center to test new fresh private-brand food concepts. “We want to create food items that perfect the expected and delight consumers with the unexpected,” said Jacqueline Ross, vice president of private brands innovation for retail business services. “We’re excited to allocate a portion of the space in this facility to private-brand product innovation, particularly fresh, nutritious items and preparations.”
Infinity Fresh Kitchen purchased the facility from fresh produce company Taylor Farms, which Retail Business Services has selected as a strategic partner to manage the operation, bringing about 250 jobs to the local economy.
“We’re pleased to work with Retail Business Services on this innovative facility,” said Bruce Taylor, CEO of Salinas, Calif.-based Taylor Farms. “We look forward to completing the outfitting of the facility, and getting operations underway in the coming months.”
Construction is underway to outfit the building for Infinity Fresh Kitchen, and initial operations at the facility are expected to begin in September.
Last year, Retail Business Services' Infinity Meat Solutions LLC subsidiary unveiled plans to build a $100 million, 200,000-square-foot processing facility in Rhode Island. The project broke ground last December at the Quonset Business Park in North Kingstown.