ANAHEIM, CALIF. — Nellson L.L.C. has opened a Launch Pad Innovation Center in Salt Lake City that is designed to support the development and commercialization of functional powder products and nutrition systems.

Nellson invested $5 million in the facility, which features a customer-collaboration workspace, consumer-tasting booths, an in-lab consumer test/scale-up line, real-time mobile R.&D. and a custom formulation system. Packaging options include a high-speed jar line, an automated bag line and a high-speed sachet line. A staff of over 40 food scientists, technicians and support staff will provide formulation and development advice, including the choice of protein source and the choice of functional ingredients.

“Our blueprint for Launch Pad was inspired by our vision to be the leading contract manufacturer and strategic partner of choice within the fast-growing nutritional bar and functional powders sectors,” said Bart Child, senior vice-president commercial development for Anaheim-based Nellson. “Launch Pad allows customer partners to work side-by-side with our R.&D. experts in a state-of-the-art customer collaboration workspace that includes all of the capabilities and technologies needed to replicate the manufacturing process.”

The lab space is designed to facilitate the development process from initiation through commercialization, said Steve Curtis, R.&D. manager for Nellson’s powder division.

“Launch Pad allows us to fully support our customers through every step of the development process, from customized benchtop samples, to finished product spec development and manufacturing scale-up,” he said.

Mr. Child, when speaking in a virtual event on April 17, identified three trends that Nellson will focus on: clean label, functional nutrition and start-up companies.

Clean label to Nellson means minimal ingredients, recognizable ingredients and transparency. Mr. Curtis gave the examples of consumers wanting natural, low-calorie sweeteners and a rising consumer interest in grass-fed whey.

Examples of functional nutrition include a sachet for use in a microwavable chocolate brownie mug cake with 20 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber and a cold-brew coffee with over 20 grams of collagen for health and beauty. Nellson also wants to appeal to start-up companies and their brands, which are nimble and get new products to market faster, Mr. Child said.