Chobani has broken ground on its recently announced expansion of the world’s largest yogurt plant in Twin Falls, Idaho.
The 70,000-sq-ft facility will serve the Greek yogurt maker’s employees and guests, and house Chobani’s Global Research and Development Centre. It is slated to come online in summer 2018.
Chobani says the new centre will “serve as home to our 1,000 local employees, and provide a symbolic ‘open door’ to the people who come and visit.”
Plans for the facility call for a visitor’s entrance, a 2,000-sq-ft fitness centre overlooking the Sawtooth Mountains, wellness rooms for new mothers, and a sunny 7,000-sq-ft gathering space.
The US$20mn investment is the latest in a series of expansions the company has undertaken since building the nearly 1mn-sq-ft yogurt plant in 2012.
The yogurt maker opened its first plant in New Berlin, New York, in 2005.
“I’m grateful for the specialness we share with the people of the Magic Valley,” said Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder and CEO, Chobani.
“Twin Falls is one of those special places where there’s a strong entrepreneurial mindset, the people are incredible, and a handshake truly means something.
“It’s a special ecosystem when it comes to food making. Our home in Idaho is not only a celebration of our employees and our community, but is also a space to inspire creativity, drive even more innovation and take us further on our mission to bring better food to more people.”
Idaho Governor Butch Otter praised Chobani's impact on the community.
“This new investment in Twin Falls reflects Chobani's commitment to Idaho and to the people who have responded so positively to its corporate citizenship,” Otter said.
“Congratulations to all those who are contributing to Chobani's growth, just as Chobani is contributing to ours.”
The new construction will house a 15,000-sq-ft, state-of-the-art global research and development centre, as well as a food incubator to help start-up companies.
Inspired by the natural beauty of Twin Falls, the centre will include 30,000-sq-ft of glass, putting transparency and sunlight at the centre of its design.
The sustainable building’s windows and skylights will also enhance natural lighting, regulate internal temperature, and reduce energy consumption by 20%.
In addition, 30,000-sq-ft of “smart roofing” will reflect sunlight and reduce heat absorption.
Over the past five years, Chobani said it has invested more than US$1bn across the two American plants and a third in Australia.