Oakwood, GA. (May 18, 2017) – Company officials, community leaders and representatives from the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industry were on hand today as Wayne Farms LLC broke ground on its new Customer Innovation Center. The Center is being constructed adjacent to the Wayne Farms Decatur Prepared Foods Complex, and will be the center of research, development and product testing for the company.
The Customer Innovation Center will feature a state-of-the-industry research and development facility and culinary kitchen— developing, testing and perfecting products for world-class customers in the restaurant, foodservice and retail sectors. With a capacity of up to 20 employees, the 15,000 sq. ft. facility will include administrative offices, open work space, and an ultramodern, fully-operational Culinary Kitchen, complete with viewing windows, conference room and the latest digital technology to allow virtual meetings for customers anywhere in the world. The Culinary Kitchen will be outfitted with the latest ovens, grilling and food preparation equipment, and the kitchen can be set up to replicate a restaurant or food service customer’s commercial kitchen, right down to preparing and serving the final product. The Customer Innovation Center’s USDA-inspected Pilot Plant will allow integration of full-scale prototype development and production of Wayne Farms’ ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook products. Featuring walk-in freezer and cooler, dry storage space and spice room, the pilot plant’s integration with the Customer Innovation Center will allow the company to produce any product developed in the test kitchen at full production.
Speaking to the group of supporters during the groundbreaking, Wayne Farms VP and GM of Prepared Foods Division John Flood, noted the significance of the new facility to the company’s future growth. “Our customers are some of the largest and most respected restaurant and food service brands in the world—so the products we’re developing here are products that consumers are enjoying every day. This new facility allows us to take a chicken product from the idea stage to the production stage, and produce the item at the scale they need to meet demand—millions of pounds each year." Company officials expect construction to begin immediately and be completed in early 2018.
About Wayne Farms LLC
Wayne Farms LLC is the sixth-largest vertically integrated poultry producer in the U.S. with annual sales exceeding $1.9 billion. A subsidiary of Continental Grain Company, Wayne Farms owns and operates 11 fresh and prepared foods facilities throughout the Southeast, produces more than 2.6 billion pounds of poultry products each year, and employs more than 8,900 individuals. Producing products under the brand names of WAYNE FARMS® fresh and prepared chicken, PLATINUM HARVEST® premium fresh chicken, and CHEF’S CRAFT® gourmet chicken. Wayne Farms has a well-known history of delivering exceptional poultry products to some of the largest industrial, institutional, and foodservice companies across America.