Health / Health tech / Resources

Medifast pursues R&D expansion with new Owings Mills innovation center

The nutrition- and weight-loss-focused company's new facility arrives amid its broader push to scale in Maryland, as well as anticipated revenue growth.

Medifast employees work at the newly opened Medifast Product Innovation Center in Owings Mills, Maryland. (Courtesy photo)
Nutrition and weight-loss company Medifast is capitalizing on anticipated growth and increasing its footprint in Baltimore County by launching the Medifast Product Innovation Center, a new research and development facility whose opening was announced today.

The facility at 11515 Cronridge Drive will be used for research and development, packaging engineering, quality assurance and other product regulations work. It also marks the next step in Medifast’s continued Maryland expansion. Medifast boasts $1.5 billion in full-year revenue, according to a statement, and envisions this innovation center as an integral way to expand its share of the health and wellness market. For the company, which is well-known for its OPTAVIA¬†wellness community and program, that growth could bring the innovation center’s research to customers in a more seamless way than before.

“The business’ revenue has more than doubled twice in five years, and we are eager to provide a space to fuel our progress as we look to build on our success in the weight management industry and continue to focus on new segments in the broader health and wellness market,” said Medicast CEO and chairman Dan Chard. “This space will allow us to deliver high-quality, unique products to our independent coaches so they can support customers on their journeys to lifelong transformation.”

The facility will also act as a hub to generate ideas for new products. The statement noted that the in-house lab and pilot plant will support testing and optimization for potential products, as well as prototyping of equipment that produces powders and bars used in OPTAVIA and other programs.  It will additionally offer quality assurance capacity for all finished products.

“The Medifast Product Innovation Center advances our ability to support our scientists and engineers, deepening their technical capabilities,” Doug Zimmermann, Medifast’s R&D vice president, said in a statement.

Structurally, the center offers workers hoteling-style desks and workspaces, high-speed internet and a private room for mothers who are nursing. The statement added that the company will still maintain its central headquarters in Baltimore city. The innovation center arrives roughly two years after Medifast opened an office in Utah, as well as three years after outposts opened in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.

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