Test kitchen and production line could cook up new Michigan jobs

Capital News Service
LANSING — Michigan food entrepreneurs could take an idea to a frozen meal on the shelves of your grocery store using a proposed mock production line in Okemos. Companies across the state could test any food product from start to finish at the line managed by the Michigan State University Product Center, an organization that aims to help entrepreneurs develop successful food and farm products. Proponents hope to generate an additional $300 million to $400 million in sales and 1,000 jobs annually if the center proposed near Lansing reaches around 20 clients per year. “Essentially, companies would be able to experiment with new processes and products by setting up an entire food processing line running from input all the way to the packaged good,” said Chris Peterson, director of the MSU product center. “They would be able to sell the finished product into test markets to see if it is successful.”
MSU officials have completed a feasibility study and business plan for the $5.25 million facility, Peterson said.