CHICAGO —Conagra Brands Inc. plans to build the Conagra Brands Center for Food Design in Chicago, the packaged-foods maker has announced.
The center will focus on innovation related to snacking and will combine culinary and food packaging design expertise in a space that enables development of products, according to the company, which owns brands including Slim Jim, Angie’s Boomchickapop and Marie Callender’s.
"Conagra Brands' $2 billion snacks business is one of the largest and fastest-growing in the food industry," said Tom McGough, executive vice president and co-chief operating officer for Conagra. "Our strong snacking portfolio is positioned for long-term growth, and we expect the capabilities in this new facility to enable us to create even more innovative products that our consumers will love."
The 40,000-square-foot center will be next to Conagra’s existing headquarters in the Merchandise Mart. The center is expected to open in the first quarter of 2020 and will house up to 50 employees.
"The Conagra Brands Center for Food Design in Chicago will be a fresh, collaborative space with state-of-the-art capabilities to provide our talented team with the right resources to help grow Conagra's snacking business," said Corey Berends, senior vice president of research and development for Conagra Brands. "In addition, the expansive kitchen and tasting area will be an ideal place to collaborate with our customers and develop new food solutions."
Conagra will continue to operate its Center for Food Design and Technology in Omaha, Neb., which focuses on its expanded frozen, refrigerated, shelf-stable meals. Omaha will also remain the company’s main R&D hub for food safety and technology development.