ST. LOUIS, MO. — Instinct Pet Food recently announced a $200 million investment in a new, sustainable raw pet food facility in Lincoln, Neb, called the Center of Excellence. According to Instinct, the facility will help it meet the explosive consumer demand of raw pet food.

The Center of Excellence will span more than 200,000 square feet, all constructed with sustainability top of mind. The facility, which already began construction and was originally announced in January 2022, will be LEED certified.

Currently, Instinct operates four different facilities throughout Lincoln to develop its pet food products. The new facility will bring all aspects of raw manufacturing together at one location, eliminating 47 miles of inter-city travel, 20 touchpoints and 25 days of processing and manufacturing, and more than doubling total product output.

“The new Center of Excellence will bring all of our raw manufacturing and raw processing in house and will be unparalleled in the industry for food quality, safety standards, and sustainability,” said Bobby Harris, chief operating officer of Instinct. “Our plans should result in one of the highest levels of LEED certification for manufacturing facilities. Our goal is to have a net zero carbon footprint with this building.”

The state-of-the-art facility will be constructed in two phases, with phase one slated for completion at the end of 2023 and completion of phase two projected in 2025 or 2026. The first $100 million phase involves an expansion of its freeze-drying facility and the second $100 million phase will include the expansion of frozen ingredient storage and grinding, mixing and blending operations. The facility will also bring high pressure processing (HPP) in-house to help ensure raw formulas are food safe and pathogen free.

According to Instinct, the new Center of Excellence will be one of the few LEED-certified pet food manufacturing plants in the United States.

“This is a major step in building out a sustainable future for our pets, people and planet,” said Gordon Dumesich, chief growth and marketing officer at Instinct. “One of our biggest impacts we can make is through our manufacturing facilities. We are committed to making a difference and making big step changes — from manufacturing, to packaging, to sourcing.”

The new sustainable facility is just one of Instinct’s recent steps toward more environmentally friendly initiatives. The pet food company is a member of the Pet Sustainability Coalition (PSC), and recently signed PSC’s Packaging Pledge along with four other pet food companies.

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