Hormel Foods opens R.&.D. center in China

by Keith Nunes
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AUSTIN, MINN. — Hormel Foods Corp. has opened its Idea and Innovation Center in China. The new center is devoted to creating new products for the Chinese marketplace.

The 5,000-square-foot space is adjoined with the Hormel Foods processing facility in the Baoshan District of Shanghai. The center will facilitate the entire R.&D. process, from ideation to testing and manufacturing, and includes a sensory panel room for evaluation of products as well as a fully-functional duplicated plant.

"This new facility represents the future of Hormel Foods, combining local expertise, a heritage of innovation and 116 years of quality," said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer, Hormel Foods. "Our local meat experts will work closely with our research and development team in the United States as they lead this facility and guide the innovative process."

The Center will serve Hormel Foods facilities in both Beijing and Shanghai, and will be overseen by Rubin Lin, research and development manager for China, and Mike Forbes, manager of production for China.

"As we continue to grow internationally, it is essential we adapt to changing local tastes, cultures and lifestyles," said Richard A. Bross, president, Hormel Foods International Corp. "The new Idea and Innovation Center in China will help us build our diversified product portfolio and better serve our Chinese customers."

Hormel Foods has an established presence in Asia, with business ventures in China, the Philippines, South Korea, Japan and most recently, Vietnam.

During fiscal 2007, ended Oct. 28, 2007, Hormel Foods’ All Other business segment, which includes Hormel Foods’ international ventures, posted net sales of $188,785,000, a 26% increase over fiscal 2006. Operating profit for the division was $23,085,000 during fiscal 2007, a 33% increase compared to the previous year.

For the full year, Hormel Foods had net income of $301,892,000, or $2.20 per common share, on sales of $6,193,032,000.

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