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Commercial / Industrial Projects

AAK Customer Innovation Center

Owner: AAK USA, Inc.
Location: Edison, N.J.

As a leading provider of vegetable oils and fats for the bakery, chocolate, and confectionery industries, AAK is committed to advancing innovation by collaborating with its customers to create winning products. To support its co-development approach, the company envisioned a new Customer Innovation Center at its Edison, New Jersey, location to foster partnerships among technical experts, the business sector, and the academic community. With a limited amount of space, and big goals, it needed a design partner with expertise in the technical and sensory aspects of food product development to help plan its new facility.

Gannett Fleming architects worked with AAK to transform a 3,500-square-foot first-floor office suite into a fully-functional, customer-friendly research center featuring a Bakery Lab, Confectionary Lab, Analytical Lab, and meeting areas. The design team found creative ways to optimize the use of available space. Instead of providing separate smelling and tasting booths that are not often used, designers created two adjacent, multi-purpose conference rooms. These spaces can be used as sensory testing areas as needed and can be opened to create one large meeting room. The plan also provides amenities to make AAK customers feel at home while working at the center, including a visitor’s office with room for product storage. Colors and interior finishes add to the welcoming feel and bring AAK’s branding to life.