Branded franchise specialist NexCen Brands Inc., New York, opened a 1,200-square-foot R&D facility at the company’s cookie dough bakery in Atlanta. The operation will develop new products for NexCen’s franchised QSR brands: Great American Cookies, MaggieMoo’s, Marble Slab Creamery, Pretzelmaker and Pretzel Time.

“We are delighted to open this new facility with the support of our vendors,” said Kenneth Hall, NexCen Brands CEO. “We are committed to innovation as well as investment in research and development to remain ahead of industry trends. We are leveraging our resources and business partnerships to continue introducing unique products in the rapidly evolving QSR industry.”

NexCen’s franchised brands are known for such products as an ice cream cupcake, pretzel dog and pretzel bites and a cookie cake. NexCen said its top suppliers – including H.C. Brill Co. (bakery), Blommer Chocolate and Prairie Farms (dairy) are supporting R&D activities.

NexCen said 30-year-plus product development veteran Michael Curtis, now vice president of plant operations, will oversee the test kitchen.