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DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. -- Sara Lee Corp. finalized plans for The Kitchens of Sara Lee, a multimillion-dollar research and development campus to be located at the site of the company's corporate headquarters here.
Scheduled to be completed in early 2009, the 150,000-square-foot campus will support innovation activities for the company's North American foodservice and retail businesses.
Employment at the state-of-the-art facility will increase to approximately 150 R&D professionals focused on developing new products for Sara Lee's bakery, meat, coffee, sauces, and dressing product lines. The Kitchens of Sara Lee will include culinary facilities; product, packaging, and equipment development and testing; sensory services; a pilot operations facility; analytical and micro labs; and product training facilities. Sara Lee relocated most of its current R&D work to Downers Grove over the past year.
When the new facility is completed, it will mark the first time in the company's history that all North American R&D activities are housed in a single location.
"The Kitchens of Sara Lee celebrates our heritage as a company that understands how to provide products that delight our consumers, and is the cornerstone to our future success," said Brenda C. Barnes, Sara Lee's chairman and c.e.o.. "Every member of our organization is committed to developing, marketing, and distributing innovative products as the primary way to drive our company's growth."