On the Street -- Kellogg Expanding Development Institute

October 7/Drug Week -- Kellogg Company held a dedication ceremony to mark the completed expansion of its W.K. Kellogg Institute for Food and Nutrition Research, the epicenter for Kellogg's global product development, research and innovation and an important driver of the company's ongoing success. The ceremony was attended by elected officials, and community and company leaders. The $54 million, 157,000-square-foot pilot plant and office space expansion "demonstrates the Company's ongoing commitment to growth and building powerhouse brands that meet the needs of customers and consumers worldwide," the company notes.

Since the opening of the W.K. Kellogg Institute in 1997, Kellogg Company has seen net sales double from $6 billion to nearly $13 billion. Product renovations and innovations have been one of the key drivers in the company's focused business strategy of growing cereal and expanding snacks. In 2008, 15% of sales, approximately $2 billion, came from new products launched in the past three years. The expanded facility will support Kellogg's continuing commitment to innovation and its proven track record of delivering results from new product developments.

"For more than 100 years, our commitment to innovation has served as a key driver to our company's success. The synergies we will gain from this expanded facility will be realized in new product renovations and innovations that further strengthen our company's reputation for building great brands and delighting consumers with high-quality, nutritious and great-tasting foods," said David Mackay, Kellogg Company president and CEO.

The significantly expanded W. K. Kellogg Institute now has nearly 400,000 square feet devoted to product development. The facility includes innovation labs, research facilities, a flexible experimental production area and an improved pilot plant. The expansion enables Kellogg researchers and technical experts to more effectively interact and improve the speed with which new products are successfully introduced to customers around the world. In total, 87,000 square feet were added to the pilot plant and the office space nearly doubled with an additional 70,000 square feet.

"The W.K. Kellogg Institute is one of the premier product development centers in the industry," stated Margaret Bath, vice president, Research, Quality and Technology, Kellogg Company. "In the past 12 years since we held the grand opening ceremony for this facility, we have built Special K into a global brand by introducing Special K protein meal bars, snack bars, waters and shakes, as well as crackers and hugely popular cereal varieties like Red Berries and Blueberry. We've also reduced sugar and sodium in many of our products, added fiber to our most popular children's cereals and led the industry in front-of-pack nutrition labeling with our Guideline Daily Amounts. If we've achieved all these innovations while spread out in four locations across town, imagine what awaits us now that we can just walk across the hall."

"This move also demonstrates Kellogg Company's continued commitment to environmental sustainability," said Mackay. "The expansion we are dedicating today is LEED certified by the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Among other things, the expanded facility features a white roof to reduce the heat load and more than 700 tons of construction waste was recycled."

From the October 12, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition