MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – On October 7 Maple Leaf opened a one-of-a-kind 25,000-square-foot facility on the campus of its corporate offices in Mississauga, Ont.
The company hopes the $12-million ThinkFOOD! Centre will become a cornerstone of innovation and growth in the industry. According to a press release, “It offers an unprecedented and holistic approach to creative thinking and collaboration to facilitate accelerated innovation and growth across Maple Leaf’s global bakery and protein businesses.”
At the centre, experts in product development, brand innovation, food education, customer relationship development, consumer research and global trend tracking will join forces to help test and bring new product ideas to life. “We’sve created an innovative environment where all of our food innovators can work together under one roof in collaboration with customers and increase the speed-to-market for introducing exciting new food ideas from around the world,” said Michael McCain, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods. “ThinkFOOD! is a place where we draw inspiration from a global food basket of ideas and innovate to create products that will delight the palates of our consumers and customers.”
The facility, which employs nearly 60 people, including internationally trained chefs, culinary food scientists, microbiologists, home economists, environmental technologists and biologists is designed to foster collaboration on both foodservice and retail products. Culinary amenities at the centre include presentation kitchens, teaching and demonstration facilities, research labs, product development and sensory testing areas, simulated retail environments and a trends resource library.