Campbell Soup Co. and Pepperidge Farm opened a new 34,000-square-foot innovation center located at Pepperidge Farm headquarters at 595 Westport Avenue in Norwalk.
Campbell invested more than $30 million in the project, reflecting its strategy to drive continued growth and innovation in its Global Baking and Snacking portfolio, the company's second-largest reporting segment. Key components of the segment are Pepperidge Farm in the U.S. and Arnott's Biscuits in Australia. In fiscal 2012, sales increased 2 percent in the segment to $2.193 billion.
"Campbell is committed to driving sustainable, profitable net sales growth through consumer-focused innovation," said Denise Morrison, president and chief executive officer, Campbell Soup Co., in a prepared statement. "Our investment in the new Pepperidge Farm innovation center will help accelerate the rate of new product development across our Baking and Snacking portfolio. This new building is a visible recognition of Pepperidge Farm's long history of successful innovation, as well as our commitment to delivering the next generation of new products for consumers."
The innovation center features a contemporary design with a curved glass exterior and houses a state-of-the-art pilot plant with product development and testing lines; culinary kitchens, including a "broadcast-type" culinary demonstration kitchen; and scientific labs and meeting rooms. The center was designed as an environmentally-friendly, LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) "green" building and employs a variety of energy efficiency, water conservation and daylight harvesting techniques. Recycled building materials were used in the construction.
Irene Chang Britt, president, Pepperidge Farm and senior vice president global baking and snacking, said, "I feel a tremendous sense of excitement and potential for the opportunities that exist in Pepperidge Farm and Campbell's Global Baking and Snacking businesses. This new innovation center embodies the bright and dynamic future we see ahead."
In honor of its recently retired President of Pepperidge Farm, Campbell named the two-story glass-enclosed structure The Patrick J. Callaghan Innovation Center. Callaghan's career at Pepperidge Farm spanned 33 years. He served as President from 2006 until Aug. 1, 2012. During that time, Callaghan and his team delivered strong business results and a continuous stream of new products, including "Milano Melts," "Milano Slices," "Baked Naturals Snack Crackers," "Cracker Chips" and "Deli Flats" thin rolls and also extended its high-growth "Goldfish" brand to sweet treats and to the bread aisle.
"I am incredibly honored – and humbled – by this recognition. I enjoyed a wonderful career at Pepperidge Farm and Campbell and am proud of what I and my team achieved through the years," said Callaghan. "It is truly a dream come true for me and many others, and I know all the benefits we anticipated here will be brought to life by the Pepperidge Farm and Campbell teams."