The new facilities reflect the growing demand for Pepperidge Farm snacks, as well as for specialized packaging to distribute them. Single-serve and other special packs are increasingly important to meet the innovation and convenience desires of consumers, as well as the distribution requirements of non-grocery customers like mass merchandisers, convenience and drug stores.
Leading the ribbon cutting ceremonies were Pepperidge Farm President Jay Gould, Senior Vice President of Operations Bob Furbee, and Willard Plant Manager Don Tomaszewski. The approximately 50 guests included Pepperidge Farm executives, corporate neighbors from the Willard area, and local officials. The Willard Plant Staff led attendees on tours of the new facilities, highlights of which included three robotic palletizers in the warehouse and a variety of state-of-the-art, high-speed packing machines in the Flexible Packaging Center.
"As consumer demand for Pepperidge Farm premium snacks is growing, so is the trend toward more innovative, convenient, on-the-go packaging," said Jay Gould. "With these new facilities, Pepperidge Farm will be able to cost effectively explore emerging technologies and marketplace opportunities to meet consumer and customer needs. It is an investment in the future growth of our business."
Bob Furbee, Senior Vice President, Operations, added: "Pepperidge Farm's decision to build these facilities in Willard reflects our confidence in the management and workforce here, based on their high quality performance over 28 years."
"These new facilities are an outstanding addition to our Willard plant," said Plant Manager Don Tomaszewski. "They will bring new activity and income to the community and make Willard an even larger contributor to the success of Pepperidge Farm."
The Pepperidge Farm Willard Plant currently employs 603. Ten jobs have been added to support the new operations, along with several dozen contract positions to meet the varying swings in customer orders and mix of products required.
About Pepperidge Farm
Pepperidge Farm, Incorporated, based in Norwalk, Connecticut, is a leading provider of premium quality fresh bakery products, cookies and crackers, and frozen foods. Among the company's most popular products are Chocolate Chunk and Milano(R) cookies, Goldfish(R) crackers, and more than 50 varieties of fresh baked breads including Swirl, Farmhouse, and Natural Whole Grain breads.
Pepperidge Farm was founded in Connecticut in 1937 by Margaret Rudkin, an entrepreneurial homemaker who began baking fresh, all-natural bread for her allergy-afflicted son. The company is now a nationwide business with 8 manufacturing facilities, almost 5,000 employees, 3,000 independent distributorships, and just over $1 billion in sales. Pepperidge Farm was acquired by Campbell Soup Company in 1961.