CANAJOHARIE - Richardson Foods has made Canajoharie the center of its new product development unit, furthering the company's goal to double in size in three to five years.
"New product development is the lifeblood of growth for our company," Chief Executive Officer Don Butte said Tuesday. "We plan to accelerate this development as we move forward."
Butte said Richardson plans to continue its consolidation in Canajoharie. The company has moved about 40 jobs to the area from a combination of positions at the company's now-closed Branford, Conn. location and its Kansas City, Missouri plant, and plans to move 30 more from Kansas City in January.
But the promise of creation of even more jobs here locally is one of the things to look forward to with new product development. As a product line grows and new lines are created, the company will need more people to make and support them, Butte explained
The New Product Development Group will be headed by 25-year Richardson veteran Kalman Vadasz, vice president of research and quality assurance. Vadasz's most recent accomplishment, Butte said, is multi-colored, variously-flavored candy swizzle sticks for use in coffee, tea and alcoholic beverages. As the sticks dissolve in the beverage, the flavor is transferred to the drink. The candy drink stirrers will be released soon, Butte said.
Vadasz has recently been focused on upgrading Richardson's processes to improve product quality while reducing water usage and air emissions at the plant.
The Canajoharie plant's water consumption is down nearly 80 percent since 2007, said Butte.
"Kalman's next challenge is to add several new items to Richardson Brands product portfolio," said Butte.
Richardson Foods owns and manages the Richardson Brands of mint candy, Dryden and Palmer rock candy, Bogdon reception sticks and Beechies Gum, as well as Gravymaster cooking and grilling sauce.
Edward J. Hunt covers Montgomery County news. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.