Chobani LLC, the Norwich, New York-based Greek yogurt maker and the second largest overall yogurt manufacturer in the U.S., has opened the new 71,000-s.f. innovation and community center in Twin Falls, Idaho.
“I’m grateful for the bond we share with the people of the Magic Valley,” says Hamdi Ulukaya, founder and CEO of Chobani. “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 and community center makes us more connected to our people, our plant and to 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, Idaho-based design firm CSHQA, and inspired by the beauty of the Magic Valley, the facility also serves as home to the company’s global research and development center, fueling a future of creativity and collaboration, inspiring new yogurt and non-yogurt creations.
Chobani is also dedicated to improving the health of the planet. The new center has innovative features that increase energy efficiency, reduce waste and improve recycling practices. The company has also registered the center with the goal of U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver certification.
“Chobani has worked hard to make itself an integral part of the Magic Valley community,” says Gov. Brad Little. “Chobani’s latest investment in its state-of-the-art innovation and 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’s partnership with Twin Falls and Idaho has helped fuel significant economic growth, From 2012 to today, the unemployment rate has decreased by more than 60 percent from 6.9 percent to 2.8 percent (seasonally adjusted), according to Department of Labor, March 2019, Idaho Department of Labor Local Area Unemployment Statistics Program (LAUS). The company’s presence in Twin Falls contributes to more than 8,000 indirect jobs in Idaho, according to IDFA, Dairy Delivers The Economic Impact of Dairy Products in Idaho (2017).
- A 7,000-s.f. sun-filled gathering space will be used for town halls, shared meals, daily relaxation and special celebrations.
- A state-of-the art, 2,185-s.f. fitness center will help employees improve their health and reduce stress through exercise, while they enjoy views of the Sawtooth Mountains.
- Lactation rooms are available for new mothers.
- On the ground floor, employees of all denominations will find a faith center to pray, meditate and reflect.
Culture of innovation
- At more than 14,000 s.f., the R&D center encompasses the entire top floor of the building. It features a state-of-the-art “chef kitchen” that will enable Chobani’s researchers to innovate and grow faster.
- Chobani has expanded the R&D team to support the company’s growth, and will continue to grow that department as it expands its focus on being a food-focused wellness company.
- This building was designed to use 30 percent less water, including a 50 percent reduction in water usage for landscaping.
- It is using more than 25 percent less energy for lighting, heating and cooling than a typical U.S. office building.
- Roughly 55 percent of the construction waste was recycled and diverted from landfills.
- The center features more than 11,000-s.f. of “smart glass” that automatically tints based on the availability of sunlight, providing optimal interior light levels and reducing glare.
- An expansive skylight at the center of the building will reduce lighting needs from our already environmentally-conscious, all-LED lighting system, while 30,000 s.f. of reflective roofing reduces heat absorption.