Ahold Delhaize USA’s Retail Business Services (RBS) support division, through its subsidiary Infinity Fresh Kitchen, has inked a deal with Taylor Farms to open a fresh processing facility and culinary innovation center in North Kingston, R.I. The new centralized facility will be housed under RBS’s Infinity Fresh Kitchen subsidiary, while its original owner, Taylor Farms, will continue to manage its operations and workforce.
Construction is underway to outfit the former Taylor Farms facility, which will process convenient, ready-to-eat and/or ready-to-heat grocery fresh food items such as cut fruit and cut vegetables; leaf, grain and pasta salads; sandwiches and wraps; and other grab-and-go deli items. Initial operations at RBS’s new central kitchen are expected to begin in September and will initially serve the Hannaford and Stop & Shop brands, with plans to expand it companywide to the remainder of the sister retail brands along the East Coast.
In addition to significant capacity for processing fresh food items, the fresh food hub will feature a culinary innovation center that company officials said will be designed to 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, RBS’ VP of private brands innovation. “We’re excited to allocate a portion of the space in this facility to private brand product innovation, particularly fresh, nutritious items and preparations.”
“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.”
Once operational, the facility is expected to initially add about 250 jobs to the Rhode Island economy and additional jobs over time. Taylor Farms will post information about employment opportunities at the new facility on its careers page.
“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 RBS President Roger Wheeler. “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.”