I’ve always worked in premier industry kitchens, but as a forward-thinking research chef I wanted to reimagine and elevate the impact our kitchen could have on customers’ innovation planning. It’s with this mindset that we embarked upon our journey to not just build the best kitchen for today, but to design a Culinary Innovation Center that is ready for tomorrow.
McCormick’s new Culinary Innovation Center is not just about acquiring the next generation of culinary technology – it’s a reflection of our innovative mindset & engagement model. Every design consideration was made with a deliberate purpose: facilitate innovation, foster collaboration, and deepen our partnerships. While our previous kitchen became the industry model for what a culinary R&D space should be; we believed inspiring innovation for our customers’ success would be much more impactful if we designed a kitchen with an elevated sense of purpose. While we have always had a strong focus on technological innovation we needed to elevate the role technology can (indeed must) play in improving our ability to collaborate with customers to solve their product design challenges and inspire the next generation of innovative taste experiences.
As a valued collaborator to some of the world’s leading brands, we are continually looking for opportunities to bridge the gap between their innovation challenges and our solutions.
Our tireless focus on customer intimacy demanded that we incorporate ‘plug & play’ as a key design feature of the new center. Aside from having the right appliances, we can now customize our kitchen set-up to replicate the configurations of whomever we’re working with. No matter your specialty, we have the tools and flexibility to put our culinary innovation center to work for you and your operations.
Perhaps more impressive than our state of the art tools and facility flexibility are the new collaboration technologies we have brought to the table. We have incorporated video technology throughout the culinary innovation center that enables real-time connectivity through live video streams. With this feature, our chefs work virtually alongside our customers to develop product concepts, test solutions and troubleshoot issues in real time from anywhere across the globe. With this technology in house, we are more ready than ever to design and develop our customers’ next generation of success.
At its core, innovation is about solving for customer problems (ideally before they know they even had them). Like the phones in our pockets, kitchen technology has evolved at lightning speed over the past decade. With consumer demands changing at an increasingly rapid rate, we recognized the need to create a culinary innovation center that was designed to evolve and equipped to solve for our customers’ market opportunities. Simply equipping ourselves with the newest “top of the line” tools once is not enough to solve for consumer problems that will arise five years from now. To solve for this dynamic, our innovation center strategy includes a partnership with a leading appliance manufacturer that will provide us with opportunity to beta test the newest kitchen appliance innovations before they are widely released. Through this collaboration, we will continually evolve our capabilities and provide insight into the creation of better culinary tools. As a customer, we will be able to offer you insights into the kitchen technology of tomorrow and help you design solutions that will become industry standards in a few years’ time.
Creating a true research & development innovation center required us to design a space where technologies could converge in a way that would truly bring our solutions to life. Beyond our focus on adaptive kitchen equipment, our design includes technology once reserved for scientific laboratories, such as a rotary evaporator that will allow us to ultra-concentrate liquids into drops of pure, intense flavor that can be taken back to your benchtop for continued flavor exploration.
Another technology that we believe will be an innovation game-changer in the industry is the 3D food printer. Currently under development, the 3D food printer will truly bring our culinary-inspired innovation process to life for our customers and we are ecstatic that McCormick will be home to one of first models being produced for testing.
Regardless of the project, our customers will benefit from our first-hand experience and feedback and will benefit from our understanding the potential role that the latest technologies available will have on their future success.
As a leader in innovative beverage development, another must-have was a dedicated culinary mixology station. With consumer interest in flavor exploration permeating many beverage categories our dedicated mixology kitchen needed to be equipped to brew, shake and stir our customers’ flavor ambitions to life. Whether you are formulating workout drinks and smoothies, looking for the next cold-brew coffee or wanting to experiment with the latest cocktail trends our mixologist is now able to serve up a menu of solutions. From refreshing a product concept to completely shaking things up, our in-house mixologist is ready to formulate solutions inspired by the latest trends using our proprietary flavor, technologies and expertise.
We are focused on keeping our customers ahead of the culinary curve and their innovations aligned with consumer demand. As a taste innovator, we have moved beyond ‘brick & mortar’ innovation and are introducing new technologies to our flavor creation process that will continuously bridge the gap between a customer market opportunity and our ability to design a solution for their needs.
To facilitate your success, we created more than ‘the kitchen of the future’…we have created your lens for the future of culinary-inspired, consumer-preferred taste experiences.
For more information about how we can put our new Culinary Innovation Center to work for your flavor development needs, contact McCormick Flavor Solutions today.