Tampa Maid Foods announced the opening of its new R&D Innovation Center in Lakeland, Florida. The new George Watkins Innovation Center, named in honor of the family-owned company’s founder, has opened after more than three years of planning and development. The Center will now serve as a destination for Tampa Maid culinary innovation, new product development, collaboration and education.
The new space has been specially designed to serve as an incubator for innovation and prototype development for key foodservice and retail customers, helping to educate industry personnel on concept development and flavor trends. The state-of-the-art culinary kitchen will also be used as a digitally-integrated teaching kitchen for meetings, menu ideations and collaborations, as well as an R&D facility to develop, test and streamline products for industry partners.
“We look forward to inviting our customers and industry partners into our new space to collaborate side-by-side with our food scientists to improve development time and speed to market roll-outs,” says Nina Burt, Vice President of Product Development. “The custom-designed presentation kitchen features kitchen equipment commonly used by our clients to help us better replicate our customers’ processes and allow for directed, customized application work.”
With a robust portfolio of new resources and enhanced workspace, Tampa Maid is now positioned to better respond to the changing needs of the food industry and innovate for the future. “We are committed to evolving and growing our business alongside our customers,” adds Rod Van Wyngarden, president and COO. “And this latest advancement will help us to do so even more effectively.”