Chobani, maker of America’s leading Greek Yogurt brand and the second-largest overall yogurt manufacturer in the U.S., has officially opened its new Innovation & Community Center in Twin Falls, Ida. The 71,000 sq. ft. facility promotes a culture of collaboration, creativity, innovation and wellness, the company said.
“I’m grateful for the bond we share with the people of the Magic Valley,” Hamdi Ulukaya, Chobani founder and chief executive officer, said. “It is so important that we invest as much time, energy and dedication to the well-being of our people as we do our products. This new Innovation & Community Center makes us more connected to our people, our plant and our community. That was our vision from the very beginning, and I am so thrilled this center will serve as a bridge to Chobani’s exciting and bold future.”
Designed by local architects and engineers at Idaho-based design firm CSHQA and inspired by the beauty of the Magic Valley, Chobani said the facility also serves as the home to its Global Research & Development (R&D) Center to fuel a future of creativity and collaboration that inspires new yogurt and non-yogurt creations.
The new center has innovative features that increase energy efficiency, reduce waste and improve recycling practices. Chobani said it has registered the innovation center with the goal of achieving the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver certification.
“Chobani has worked hard to make itself an integral part of the Magic Valley community,” Idaho Gov. Brad Little said. “Chobani’s latest investment in its state-of-the-art Innovation & Community Center underscores its commitment to Idaho. We are grateful to the leadership and employees at Chobani for their continued dedication to excellence, which only serves to help us in our goal to make Idaho a place where our children and grandchildren choose to stay.”
Since installing the world’s largest yogurt plant in Twin Falls in 2013, Chobani said its commitment to the region demonstrates that business done right “has the ability to change lives and strengthens communities.”
Chobani relayed that its relationship with Twin Falls and Idaho has helped fuel significant economic growth, pointing out that since 2012, the unemployment rate has decreased by more than 60% -- from 6.9% to 2.8% (seasonally adjusted). The company’s presence in Twin Falls also contributes to more than 8,000 indirect jobs in Idaho.
According to Chobani, new Innovation & Community Center building includes the following features.
- A 7,000 sq. ft. gathering space to be used for town halls, shared meals, daily relaxation and special celebrations.
- A state-of-the art, 2,185 sq. ft. fitness center to help employees improve their health and reduce stress through exercise while enjoying views of the Sawtooth Mountains.
- Lactation rooms for new mothers.
- A faith center, in keeping with Chobani’s culture of openness and inclusion, for employees of all denominations to pray, meditate and reflect.
Culture of innovation:
- At more than 14,000 sq. ft., the R&D center encompasses the entire top floor of the building.
- The R&D center features a state-of-the-art “chef kitchen” that will enable Chobani’s researchers to innovate and grow even faster.
- The R&D team has been expanded to support Chobani’s growth, and the department will continue to grow as Chobani expands its focus on being a food-focused wellness company.
- The building was designed to use 30% less water, including a 50% reduction in water usage for landscaping.
- It is uses at least 25% less energy for lighting, heating and cooling than a typical U.S. office building.
- Roughly 55% of the construction waste was recycled and diverted from landfills.
- More than 11,000 sq. ft. of “smart glass,” which automatically tints based on the availability of sunlight, will provide optimal interior light levels and reduce glare.
- An expansive skylight at the center of the building will reduce lighting needs from the all-LED lighting system, while 30,000 sq. ft. of reflective roofing will reduce heat absorption.
- The center is registered with the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver certification.