$53 Million Investment to Focus on Frozen and Chilled Foods
Nestlé S.A. will invest $53 million to establish a new building that will expand the existing R&D facility in Solon, Ohio. The new center will be designated as a global Product Technology Center (PTC), dedicated to frozen and chilled foods research, and will serve Nestlé’s businesses worldwide.
The new building will be located on 18 acres in a park-like setting off of Solon’s Cannon Road. The glass-faced facility will house offices and labs for approximately 100 scientific, professional and technical staff. The 144,000 square foot building also will include a pilot plant where new recipes and the latest technologies will be tested and evaluated. Construction is expected to begin this summer and Nestlé expects the new facility to be operational in late 2014.
The decision to expand the research and development capabilities in Solon reflects the growth in size and complexity of Nestlé’s frozen and chilled food businesses. Nestlé dominates U.S. frozen food with its well-known brands leading in their various categories.
“We are pleased that the R&D effort first established in Solon in 2001 to serve our regional needs has matured into a global Product Technology Center. We currently operate 11 Product Technology Centers around the world. PTC Solon will become the twelfth of these important centers of excellence for Nestlé. Here we will establish a critical mass of technology expertise and product knowledge for our global Nestlé frozen and chilled foods business,” said Johannes Baensch, Nestlé’s Global Head of Research and Development.
While the new PTC will serve Nestlé business units worldwide, the familiar, domestic brands it will continue to support include: STOUFFER’S® and LEAN CUISINE® prepared meals and snacks, HOT POCKETS® and LEAN POCKETS® brand sandwiches, BUITONI® refrigerated pastas and sauces; NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® refrigerated (and in test, frozen) cookie dough, as well as the DIGIORNO®, CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN® TOMBSTONE® and JACK’S® brands of frozen pizza.
Sean Westcott will serve as Director of the new PTC in Solon. Mr. Westcott, a veteran Nestlé employee, is an expert in leading product innovation, operations and quality control teams. He replaces former Head Roberto Reniero, who with his team, gained rezoning approval from the Solon community in 2011, and designed the facility to comply with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. In March, Reniero completed his assignment in the U.S. and was named Head of PTC Lisieux in France, the Nestlé center of excellence for chilled dairy products and healthy drinks.
“We are committed to what we do at PTC Solon because this is the place where we combine cutting-edge innovation with deep awareness of consumer needs and preferences,” Mr. Westcott said. “Our chefs, food scientists, nutritionists and operations experts work side-by-side with the various Nestlé businesses we support to create foods that are more delicious, wholesome and satisfying.
“We’re extremely grateful for the support we’ve received from Mayor Susan Drucker and the City of Solon, from Gov. Kasich and JobsOhio, and particularly from the community itself, which demonstrated its support with an 85 percent approval when we requested rezoning,” Mr. Westcott added.
The PTC will join other major Nestlé facilities in Solon, including Nestlé Prepared Foods Company, an important employer in the city since it was first established there in 1968. Led today by President & CEO Frank Higgins, the business employs more than 1,900 in its offices and production facility. In April 2012, the company moved its HOT POCKETS and LEAN POCKETS brands from Denver to Solon. The company operates 11 manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and employs more than 8,800 people committed to making food of exceptional quality which is then frozen for the convenience of the consumer.
In addition to its frozen and refrigerated brands, Nestlé Prepared Foods Company also markets NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Baking Ingredients, NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Milks and LIBBY’S® 100% Pure Pumpkin.
About Nestlé Research & Development
Nestlé operates the largest Research & Development network of any food company in the world. Over 5,000 people are involved in Nestlé Research & Development either through 34 R&D facilities (three Science & Research centers and 31 Product Technology Centers and R&D centers) or 300 Application Groups around the world. Learn more at www.nestle.com/RandD.
In addition to Nestlé PTC Solon, Nestlé operates another Product Technology Center in Marysville, Ohio which specializes in ready-to-drink beverage development, premium coffee and tea. Over 250 employees are based there, providing expertise in beverage science, packaging and technology.
The Nestlé Quality Assurance Center (NQAC) is located in nearby Dublin, Ohio where 150 professional and technical staff—including chemists, microbiologists, food scientists, quality specialists and support staff—provide specialized laboratory services to Nestlé clients 24 hours a day, seven days a week. NQAC Dublin serves as the lead Quality Assurance Center for Nestlé in the Americas.
Named one of “The World’s Most Admired Food Companies” in Fortune magazine for sixteen consecutive years, Nestlé provides quality brands and products that bring flavor to life every day. From nutritious meals with LEAN CUISINE® to baking traditions with NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE®, Nestlé USA makes delicious, convenient, and nutritious food and beverage products that make good living possible. That’s what “Nestlé. Good Food, Good Life” is all about. Well-known Nestlé USA brands include: NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE®, NESTLÉ® NESQUIK®, NESTLÉ® COFFEE-MATE®, STOUFFER’S®, LEAN CUISINE®, HOT POCKETS® and LEAN POCKETS® brand sandwiches, NESCAFÉ®, NESTLÉ® JUICY JUICE®, BUITONI®, DREYER’S/EDY’S®, NESTLÉ® CRUNCH®, NESTLÉ® BUTTERFINGER®, WONKA®, DIGIORNO®, TOMBSTONE® and CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN® frozen pizza.
Nestlé USA, with 2012 sales of $10 billion, is part of Nestlé S.A. in Vevey, Switzerland — the world’s largest food company with a commitment to Nutrition, Health & Wellness — which recorded 2012 sales of $98 billion. For product news and information, visit Nestleusa.com or Facebook.com/NestleUSA.