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BATTLE CREEK, Mich. -- The Kellogg Co. based here will embark on a $54 million expansion of its W.K. Kellogg Institute (WKKI) for Food and Nutrition Research, $40 million of which will be used to expand its existing research and innovation center with an additional $14 million tabbed for a 10-year investment in equipment for the pilot plant.
Since the inception of the 157,000-square-foot institute in 1997, Kellogg's net sales doubled to nearly $12 billion. Company officials say the major expansion will ensure that the institute remains a best-in-class facility.
"Innovation is a core component of Kellogg's business strategy and we have a proven track record of delivering results from our innovations," said Kellogg president/c.e.o. David Mackay. "In 2006, 17 percent of net sales or almost $1.9 billion dollars were delivered through
innovations launched in the last three years. The expansion of the WKKI facility ensures we can continue to drive strong innovation and supports our goal of delivering sustainable growth for our shareholders."
The expanded facility will include food and packaging review rooms, chemistry labs, test kitchens, development labs and a large, flexible production pilot plant where new ideas for food products are tested prior to full-scale production at the company's manufacturing facilities. New product innovations created at WKKI are eventually produced and marketed all over the world in the company's North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia Pacific regions.
The current WKKI facility includes a 160,000-square-foot pilot plant and 80,000 square feet of office space. The expansion project will add 87,000 square feet to the pilot plant and will almost double the office space -- adding 70,000 square feet. Upon completion of the expansion, the
WKKI facility will be almost 400,000 square feet in total.