Sara Lee details plans for new R.&D. facility in Chicago

by Eric Schroeder
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DOWNERS GROVE, ILL. — Sara Lee Corp. has finalized plans for The Kitchens of Sara Lee, a multi-million dollar, 150,000-square-foot research and development campus that will be located at the company’s corporate headquarters in Downers Grove. The facility will support innovation activities for the company’s North American food service and retail businesses and, once completed in early 2009, will mark the first time in the company’s history that all North American R.&D. activities will be in a single location.

Sara Lee said the facility will employ approximately 150 research and development professionals focused on developing new products for Sara Lee’s bakery, meat, coffee, sauces and dressing product lines. In addition, 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.

"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, chairman and chief executive officer, Sara Lee Corp. "Every member of our organization is committed to developing, marketing and distributing innovative products as the primary way to drive our company's growth."

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