Business

Following fast development, Medifast opens new R&D hub in Owings Mills


Medifast’s meals scientists check merchandise in The Medifast Innovation Center’s laboratory. (Courtesy Medifast)

With the opening of a analysis and growth hub in Owings Mills, Medifast is hoping to proceed its fast development trajectory, enhance its merchandise and discover the potential for increasing its product lineup — all proper at dwelling in Maryland.

The firm, which began 4 many years in the past in Owings Mills and is now headquartered in Baltimore’s Harbor East, has seen vital development over the previous 5 years, doubling its income twice in that point; the burden administration firm surpassed $1.5 billion in income in 2021 and is taken into account a market chief within the business.

“As a result of moving from a small-cap to mid-cap company, we’ve had the opportunity to continue to grow our investments,” resulting in the creation of the power, the corporate’s CEO and chairman, Dan Chard, mentioned in an interview.

The 20,000-square-foot facility, known as The Medifast Innovation Center, is at 11515 Cronridge Drive. The middle incorporates workplace house, labs, and a pilot plant, which is an area the place the corporate’s researchers can prototype and check a product earlier than it’s manufactured on a bigger scale.

Chard mentioned he expects the pilot plant to permit Medifast to carry its merchandise to market sooner.

Medifast’s enterprise mannequin revolves across the firm’s core weight reduction program, Optavia, which connects clients with coaches who information them by means of their “weight loss journey.” Part of this journey is Optavia’s 5&1 eating regimen plan, which inspires clients to eat six meals a day — 5 of that are meals objects, known as “fuelings,” which might be supplied by Optavia.

Those fuelings are the primary product that will probably be developed on the innovation middle, however Chard mentioned the corporate’s scientists may even take a look at growing merchandise related to a few of the different “healthy habits” that Optavia’s coaches tout to their purchasers — exercising, staying hydrated and getting a very good evening’s sleep.

In addition to its lab house, the innovation middle consists of “collaborative space” that may enable completely different folks and departments concerned within the growth and sale of merchandise to return collectively.

“It’s a great place for our scientists, our product managers, our marketing people, to collaborate together,” he mentioned.

The facility as an entire is sprinkled with particular touches tailor-made to the Medifast model — there are photos and movies of shoppers and coaches all through the power, and one wall is roofed in quotes from glad clients.

“Through Optavia’s plan and community, I no longer hide behind my weight. I finally feel free to be myself,” one testimonial reads. Another declares: “The Fuelings taste great!”

To encourage the middle’s staff to observe wholesome habits themselves, all the facility’s desks are standing desks or may be adjusted to that peak.

“We also focus on helping our own employees be healthy,” he mentioned. “You’re healthier if you’re standing while you’re working, so we’re giving them ways to stay healthy.”

The Medifast Innovation Center is the corporate’s newest enlargement in Maryland. Just this previous February, it opened a brand new distribution facility in Havre de Grace.

The firm’s subsequent large aim is to exceed $3 billion in income.

“We’re Marylanders at heart, but we also have a broad mission to offer lifelong transformation to the world,” Chard mentioned.





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