RICHMOND, IND. — On March 23, Blue Buffalo broke ground on an expansion of its pet food facility in Richmond. The company plans to invest $200 million over the next two years to add 169,000 square feet of processing operations and warehouse capacity to the plant. The expansion will create around 60 new jobs by the end of 2024. Blue Buffalo was acquired by General Mills in 2018.
Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb joined local officials, government leaders and Blue Buffalo employees at the groundbreaking.
“General Mills and Blue Buffalo are helping drive Richmond’s economy forward, investing in the East Central region and providing quality career opportunities for Hoosiers,” said Bradley B. Chambers, secretary of commerce for the state of Indiana. “The company is making a change economically while being a good corporate citizen, making changes and fulfilling global responsibility commitments to better our planet, people, community and food.”
The expanded facility will increase the plant’s footprint by more than 40%, adding another extrusion line, three packaging lines and a mix-and-transfer system, according to the company.
The current 400,000-square-foot plant in Richmond, which celebrated its grand opening four years ago, produces BLUE Life Protection Formula, Wilderness, True Solutions, Basics and Freedom brands of dry dog and cat food. The facility employs more than 180 people.
“The expansion of Blue Buffalo here in Richmond is indicative of our continued growth and leadership in the industry and will set us up to serve pets and pet parents for years to come,” said Terry Abner, plant manager at the Richmond plant. “Today marks the culmination of strong collaboration across local, state and agency partners and we’re eager to see this to fruition in the fall of 2024 when the lines will go online, and we’ll have 50 to 60 new team members to welcome into our plant community.”
Based on Blue Buffalo’s promise to create new jobs in the area, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) has committed to invest up to $600,000 in the form of incentive-based tax credits, up to $100,000 in Hoosier Business Investment tax credits, and up to $200,000 in Manufacturing Readiness Grants. The company will be eligible for the tax credits after Indiana residents are hired.
"Blue Buffalo has established a strong professional relationship with local and state officials, and an impactful relationship with our community,” said Richmond Mayor Dave Snow. “Their growth is a result of dedication to the quality of their product, and their positive business model which promotes a healthy and productive work environment. This investment is very meaningful to our local economy, and I am confident more success lies ahead."
Jeff Harmening, chairman and chief executive officer of General Mills, shared the company’s plans to make “significant capital investments” to bolster in-house manufacturing capacity across several segments, including pet food, in the company’s first-quarter fiscal 2023 earnings report.
Read more about pet food processing operations on our Operations page.