PARSIPPANY, N.J. (PRNewswire) — In support of its mission to Reinvigorate Iconic Brands, Pinnacle Foods Inc. (NYSE: PF) opened an R&D pilot plant at Rutgers University. The pilot plant, designed for Pinnacle's Duncan Hines Grocery Division, which includes beloved brands like Duncan Hines®, Vlasic®, Wish-Bone®, Mrs. Butterworth's® and Log Cabin®, will enable the company to increase its R&D capabilities, scale up learnings for commercialization, further support brand renovation and productivity and improve speed to market.
"We have been on a continuous mission to strengthen our R&D capabilities. The pilot plant is one more step in increasing our technical rigor," said Steve Gunther, SVP of R&D at Pinnacle. "We'll be able to execute experimental designs across our brands, studying various ingredient, process and package interactions without impacting our manufacturing facilities."
The pilot plant at Rutgers Food Innovation Center – North is the first university-affiliated pilot site for Pinnacle. It expands the company's existing relationship with the institution that began last year through an undergraduate internship program. Through the expanded collaboration, Pinnacle will leverage the technologies of the University, partner with the Food Science, Packaging and Engineering departments and have the opportunity to sponsor specific graduate research work to benefit both student learning and the company.
"This is a great opportunity for Rutgers University's Food Innovation Center – North and students; we are very excited to partner with Pinnacle as it reinvigorates iconic brands," said Dr. Peggy Brennan, Associate Vice President of Economic Development, Rutgers University.
Fitted with equipment, the pilot plant will enable Pinnacle to replicate existing production processes at its Grocery Division plants and conduct consumer testing. Additionally, Pinnacle will be able to evaluate various process changes outside the plant environment and bring in equipment for testing. The plant is a USDA and FDA-inspected facility that will comply with Pinnacle's quality, safety, training and standard operating protocols.
About Pinnacle Foods Inc.
In more than 85% of American households, consumers reach for Pinnacle Foods brands. Pinnacle Foods is a Top 1000 Company ranked on Fortune Magazine's 2014 Top 1000 companies list. We are a leading producer, marketer and distributor of high-quality branded food products, which have been trusted household names for decades. Headquartered in Parsippany, NJ, our business employs an average of 4,400 employees. We are a leader in the shelf-stable and frozen foods segments and our brands hold the #1 or #2 market position in 10 of the 13 major categories in which they compete. Our Duncan Hines Grocery Division manages brands such as Duncan Hines® baking mixes and frostings, Vlasic® and Vlasic Farmer's Garden® shelf-stable pickles, Wish-Bone® and Western® salad dressings, Mrs. Butterworth's® and Log Cabin® table syrups, Armour® canned meats, Brooks® and Nalley® chili and chili ingredients, Duncan Hines® Comstock® and Wilderness® pie and pastry fruit fillings and Open Pit® barbecue sauces. Our Birds Eye Frozen Division manages brands such as Birds Eye®, Birds Eye Steamfresh®, C&W®, McKenzie's®, and Freshlike® frozen vegetables, Birds Eye Voila!® complete bagged frozen meals, Van de Kamp's® and Mrs. Paul's® frozen prepared seafood, Hungry-Man® frozen dinners and entrées, Aunt Jemima® frozen breakfasts, Lender's® frozen and refrigerated bagels, and Celeste® frozen pizza. Our Specialty Foods Division manages Tim's Cascade Snacks®, Hawaiian® kettle style potato chips, Erin's® popcorn, Snyder of Berlin® and Husman's® snacks in addition to our food service and private label businesses. Further information is available at http://www.pinnaclefoods.com .
The plant at Rutgers Food Innovation Center is the first university-affiliated pilot site for Pinnacle. The collaboration will enable Pinnacle to increase its R&D capabilities, scale up learnings for commercialization and further support brand renovation.