Ahold Delhaize USA-RBS to open Culinary Innovation Center

Retail Business Services, the services company of Ahold Delhaize USA, through its subsidiary Infinity Fresh Kitchen, will open a fresh processing facility and culinary innovation center in Rhode Island. The facility, which is located at 320 Commerce Park Rd. in North Kingstown, R.I., will process fresh food items for area grocery stores, including cut fruit and cut vegetables, leaf, grain and pasta salads, sandwiches, wraps, and other items commonly found in deli or grab and go sections of supermarkets. Initially, the facility will serve the Hannaford and Stop & Shop brands.

“As the services company of Ahold Delhaize USA, the largest grocery retail group on the East Coast, Retail Business Services is charged with finding innovative solutions that enable the local grocery brands we support to focus on serving their customers,” said Roger Wheeler, president of Retail Business Services. “Infinity Fresh Kitchen is the latest example of this innovation, which will help our retail partners bring the latest fresh, convenient items to their customers.”

In addition to the significant capacity for processing fresh food items, the facility will include a Culinary Innovation Center, which will continually test new, fresh, private brand food concepts.

“We want to create food items that perfect the expected and delight consumers with the unexpected,” said Jacqueline Ross, vice president of Private Brands Innovation for Retail Business Services. “We’re excited to allocate a portion of the space in this facility to private brand product innovation, particularly fresh, nutritious items and preparations.”

Through its subsidiary Infinity Fresh Kitchen, Retail Business Services has purchased the facility from Taylor Farms. Retail Business Services has selected Taylor Farms as the strategic partner to manage the facility’s operations and workforce. Once operational, the facility is expected to initially add about 250 jobs to the Rhode Island economy and additional jobs over time.

“We’re pleased to work with Retail Business Services on this innovative facility,” said Bruce Taylor, CEO of Taylor Farms. “We look forward to completing the outfitting of the facility, and getting operations underway in the coming months.”

Construction is underway to outfit the building for Infinity Fresh Kitchen, and initial operations at the facility are expected to begin in September. Taylor Farms will post information about employment opportunities at the new facility on its careers page, www.taylorfarms.com/careers.

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.