In July, Campbell Soup Co. unveiled plans to invest more than $30 million to build a new 34,000-sq-ft innovation center at its Pepperidge Farm headquarters in Norwalk, CT. The project also will include upgrades of the current building. “This investment is the latest step in our effort to drive increased innovation and create new products to delight consumers,” said Denise Morrison, Campbell’s president and CEO. “Pepperidge Farm has delivered outstanding innovations that have contributed to the growth of Campbell for more than 50 years, and we expect the new innovation center to fuel further collaboration and growth across our global baking and snacking portfolio.”

Featuring a contemporary design with curved glass panels, the innovation center will house a state-of-the-art pilot plant with product development and testing lines, culinary kitchens, scientific labs and meeting rooms. The company expects to complete construction in fall 2012.

Pat Callaghan, president of Pepperidge Farm, noted that the center will accelerate innovation. “It will enable us to conduct research and testing of new product concepts in a much more convenient and cost-effective way and will support greater innovation for both our bakery and snacks units, especially as we continue to focus on global baked snacks as a strategic priority,” he said.

The LEED-certified building will employ a variety of energy efficiency, water conservation and daylight harvesting techniques, according to the company, and it will use recycled building materials in the construction.

The company broke ground just after press time for the print version of this article.