KANSAS CITY, MO. — Pet food processors, suppliers and retailers are ramping up their capabilities and expanding their operations to help meet evolving consumer demand. From December 2022 to June 2023, many in the industry announced new facilities and expansions, representing at least $1.5 billion in investments.
Read more on these operational expansions below.
At the end of 2022, identity Pet Nutrition shared plans to relocate its headquarters from Denver to Windsor, Colo. The pet food manufacturer officially opened the new headquarters in February this year. The new location distributes the brand’s gently cooked, frozen pet food formulas, and serves as a place for it to maintain its global day-to-day operations. The new headquarters also provides identity Pet Nutrition with future expansion opportunities.
Nestlé Purina PetCare plans to construct a new manufacturing facility in Clermont County, according to the company’s application to the US Army Corps of Engineers. The facility will produce wet pet food and will be located near the company’s existing $500 million facility in Ohio. According to the company’s application, the facility will help it support increasing consumer demand in the Midwestern pet food market.
Later in February, Purina shared it would purchase Red Collar Pet Foods’ Miami, Okla.-based pet treat facility. The facility is expected to expand the company’s pet treat capacity and capabilities and will serve as the 22nd Purina-owned and operated facility in the United States. The plant will produce Purina’s current and future treat lines for dogs and cats. The sale was officially completed on March 10.
Purina also announced it is preparing to begin operations at a new facility in Vargeão, Brazil. The plant’s first phase includes a wet line for producing wet dog and cat foods and expands upon the company’s 40,000-square-meter industrial park in Vargeão. The facility will include unique patented technology by Purina and is expected to be completed by the end of this year with an inauguration to take place in March 2024.
On Jan. 11, Hill’s Pet Nutrition announced plans to relocate its global and US headquarters to Overland Park, Kan. The new location will allow the company to establish a hub in the Greater Kansas City area. The company’s new headquarters will be located at the Aspiria Campus, which will provide it with a modern workplace and proximity to the Kansas City International Airport (MCI). The relocation will take place in the fourth quarter of 2023.
PetDine acquired a second facility in Windsor, Colo. The new $11.7 million facility adds 50,000 square feet of pre- and post-production space to support PetDine’s functional supplement business. The facility joins PetDine’s other co-manufacturing facilities, which offer the company more than 375,00 square feet of manufacturing space.
In February, Mars Petcare opened its first pet food R&D center in the Asia Pacific region called the APAC Pet Center. The new 39,072-square-foot facility includes an automated pet food center, providing Mars with product testing and development capabilities. It will also serve as a hub for exchanging and sharing knowledge about the pet food and treat industry to professionals, students, veterinarians and researchers, according to the company.
On March 15, Freshpet broke ground on an expansion of its Ennis, Texas-based pet food manufacturing facility. The project will add 200,000 square feet of space, as well as two new production lines and an expansion to the ammonia refrigeration system. Once completed, the expanded facility will include processing, packaging, dry and refrigerated storage, and welfare areas, as well as space for future expansion. Construction firm Stellar is heading the project.
Blue Buffalo broke ground on an expansion of its Richmond, Ind.-based facility on March 23. The pet food giant plans to invest $200 million in the project over the next two years to add 169,000 square feet of processing and warehouse space to the plant. The expansion will add a new extrusion line, three packaging lines and a mix-and-transfer system. The 400,000-square-foot facility currently produces BLUE Life Protection Formula, Wilderness, True Solutions, Basics and Freedom brands of dry dog and cat foods.
Premium freeze-dried raw pet nutrition brand Dr. Marty Pets™ opened its new Golden Hippo Pet Manufacturing facility in March. The facility allows the brand to personally monitor the quality of its raw materials and ingredients and enables it to source its own ingredients. The plant utilizes a robust supply chain to produce many of Dr. Marty’s best-selling products.
Musti Group increased its stake in pet food factory Premium Pet Food Suomi Oy, increasing its ownership of the facility from 49.2% to 100%. The Lieto, Finland-based facility is situated near raw material suppliers and uses ingredients from local producers, according to the company. The facility is part of Musti’s strategy to increase its branded products offerings, enabling it to ramp up its dry and frozen pet food production.
Mid America Pet Food (MAPF) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of its newest processing plant. The $40 million facility was constructed to help MAPF meet increasing demand and to help sustain its strong growth. Spanning over 115,000 square feet, it houses office space, a new extruder, high-speed packaging lines, and extensive warehouse space to boost capacity.
On May 30, premium English dog food manufacturer Walker & Drake announced its new cold-processing production facility. The company invested £900,000 ($1.13 million USD) in the project. The facility brings all the company’s pet food production and packing in-house.
European super-premium pet food producer VAFO Group opened its first Finnish production facility. The company invested more than €16 million ($17.2 million USD) in the facility, which was completed earlier this year and began operational tests in March. The factory spans 3,000 square meters (about 32,292 square feet) of floorspace and includes an additional 300 square meters (about 3,229 square feet) of warehouse space. It also includes a unique packaging line, in which machines produce pet food bags from recyclable films.
Mars Petcare Australia announced a $112.6 million AUD (about $77 million USD) investment to expand its pet food manufacturing capabilities in Wodonga, Australia, by constructing a new cat food facility. The new facility will span 7,800 square meters (nearly 84,000 square feet) and will be solely dedicated to wet cat food, specifically single-serve pouches. It will include two production lines with a combined capacity of 25,000 tons annually, producing about 290 million pouches of cat food for Mars’ WHISKAS®, ADVANCE®, OPTIMUM® and DINE® brands.
Mars Petcare’s UK division also announced the opening of a state-of-the-art warehousing facility in partnership with DHL. Mars UK invested £350 million (nearly $445.9 million USD) in the project, called London Thames Gateway. The facility is part of Mars UK’s initiative to create a more sustainable, agile and smarter logistics network for its human and pet food products.
Foodtech company Volare shared plans to construct its first industrial-scale facility in Järvenpää. The facility will produce environmentally friendly insect-based proteins and lipids for use in aquaculture, pet nutrition and other food products. When fully operational, the new plant will produce about 5,000 tons of insect-based proteins and lipids, annually. According to Volare, the facility will be first of its kind in Finland. It will also utilize unique technology and a production process that uses about 30% less energy.
ADM invested $30 million in a new production plant in Valencia, Spain. The facility will produce the company’s probiotic BPL1 and the heat-treated BPL1 postbiotic, as well as other proprietary strains of biotics, making it the world’s first to produce both probiotics and postbiotics at the same site, according to the company. It will increase the company’s production capacity more than five-fold, to 50 tonnes per year, enabling it to meet increased demand.
Symrise will construct a new facility in China, as part of its joint venture with Chinese poultry processor Fujian Sunner Development Co., Ltd. (Sunner). It will produce high-quality, sustainable egg-based proteins for use in pet nutrition, which will be sold under Symrise Pet Food’s brand Nutrios.
In March, ADM detailed plans to build an innovation center in the Netherlands as part of its joint venture with Marel. The center will enable the companies to collaborate with customers in the development of new alternative protein products. The innovation center is designed for food manufacturers to work alongside food scientists, extrusion experts and culinary professionals. It will open in the second half of 2024.
Scoular broke ground on a $20 million expansion of its feed blending facility in Idaho to help meet custom feed needs for dairy and beef producers. The facility will add two new key capabilities: steamflaking and a pellet mill. The company estimates that the expansion will be completed in the spring of 2024.
Global insect-based ingredient producer Entobel is currently constructing a new facility in Vietnam. The facility will serve as Asia’s largest insect plant, according to the company, supplying 10,000 tonnes of insect meal annually to the pet food and aquaculture industries. The first commercial sales from the facility are expected later this year.
In April, Hagen Group opened a new distribution center in partnership with Mikhaiel Logistics. Located in Las Vegas, the 200,000-square-foot facility contains more than 4,000 pet products, ranging from supplies and toys to nutrition. According to Hagen, the center is ideally located to provide integrated distribution services and supply chain solutions to its customers throughout the western United States.
MicroHarvest, an agri-food-tech startup based in Hamburg, Germany, established a new pilot plant in Lisbon. The plant will allow MicroHarvest to accelerate its production scale and commercialization of its sustainable protein ingredient. It will also help the company fuel its research.
At the beginning of May, DSM announced plans to construct a premix plant for the pet food industry in Tonganoxie, Kan. The “next-generation” premix factory, as described by DSM, will supply pet food processors with high-quality nutritional premixes and is expected to create 28 new jobs in the area. The plant will be strategically located in the KC Animal Health Corridor, providing DSM close proximity to several leading pet food manufacturers, as well as reducing logistics costs and supply chain risk. DSM expects to break ground on the state-of-the-art facility this month and anticipates it will be fully operational in early 2025.
To meet growing consumer demand, Central Valley Ag shared that it would transition its Duncan, Neb., feed mill to an antibiotic-free facility that provides higher-value feed products for multiple species. The transition will increase the cooperative’s antibiotic-free capacity by 10 times. After the process of switching to antibiotic-free is complete, the mill will be able to produce higher-value, antibiotic-free feed for a variety of animals.
Mondi announced plans to upgrade its pulp and paper mill in Dynäs, which supports the company’s flexible packaging business. To improve the facility’s efficiency and further reduce its environmental footprint, Mondi will upgrade the mill’s machinery and equipment. Facility upgrades are estimated to be fully completed by the end of 2026.
Cargill Brazil will spend $20 million to build a mineral supplements production plant in the west-central state of Mato Grosso for cattle raised on pastures, Reuters reported. Cargill also said it intends to acquire a facility in Parana state in southern Brazil that produces hog feed.
On May 22, Scoular revealed it has acquired a frozen fish processing facility that will support its pet nutrition division. The facility upcycles fish trimmings, processing them into frozen fish ingredients for pet food and treat processors. It is expected to enhance Scoular’s product offerings to include ingredients from salmon, tuna, sole, cod and hake, among other marine-based ingredients.
Agricultural biotechnology company Arbiom will build its first plant in France as part of its SYLPLANT project. The facility will produce SylPro, a single-cell protein that offers both health and environmental benefits and can be used in food, aquaculture and pet food. The project is being supported by a $15 million grant from the Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking.
CRB announced the opening of its new office in Bridgewater, N.J., on June 6, marking the company’s 22nd office throughout the globe. Led by Paul Shapiro, director and office leader of CRB’s presence in New Jersey, the new office will bring CRB’s teams and experts even closer to clients, especially those within the biopharma industry, which are seeking more integrated services like those from CRB.
On June 13, Anchor Ingredients broke ground on its new $40 million transload and ingredient processing facility. The state-of-the-art facility will feature bulk storage, warehouse space, onsite processing and quality assurance testing, all dedicated to the pet nutrition industry. Through the new facility, the company will be able to drive efficiency for its customers, optimizing logistics, offering onsite ingredient processing and providing more local distribution.
RIBUS Inc. (Rice Ingredient Business United States) opened a new facility that will produce clean-label ingredients for the human food and pet food industries. Spanning more than 15,000 square feet, the facility will help the company meet increased demand for more natural ingredients from food processors. The new plant will provide RIBUS with opportunities to create more clean label ingredients and expand its current portfolio, which includes Nu-FLOW, Nu-RICE, Nu-BAKE, Nu-FLAC, Nu-MAG, Nu-Bind and Nu-SORP.
Pulse supplier The Redwood Group acquired a new processing, storage and transloading facility. The facility will allow the company to support its Specialty Product Division, which supplies chickpeas, lentils, peas and other ingredients to premium food and pet food manufacturers. According to Redwood, the new facility will greatly expand its “grower base to meet the increasing demand of its customers, as well as provide the Montana farmers with additional growing options and access to end-use markets.”
On July 20, Kemin Nutrisurance cut the ribbon at its first wet pet food pilot plant. The lab will mimic the production of wet pet food products in a small-scale environment, enabling the company to work with its customers to create, test and validate new products. It offers a dedicated space to develop wet pet food, as well as test dry kibble coatings. The opening of the pilot lab served as a platform to introduce customers to Kemin’s advancement in R&D offerings under its new Research and Explorations Services umbrella.
Pet retail franchise Pet Supplies Plus (PSP) celebrated the grand opening of its new state-of-the-art distribution center on May 19. The distribution center represents a major milestone for the retailer, expanding its distribution capabilities throughout the Southeast United States. The company invested a total of $54 million into the distribution center, which spans 534,700 square feet. It will service PSP retail locations, as well as Wag N’ Wash stores, throughout 42 states.
Ren’s Pets, a Canadian pet specialty retailer, plans to open two new stores in Markham and Oshawa, Ontario, later this year. The new store in Markham will be 7,100 square feet and is anticipated to open at the beginning of October, and the new store in Oshawa will be 7,956 square feet and is expected to open at the end of October. Both locations will carry more than 8,000 pet products and include 32 feet of walk-in freezers specifically for raw and frozen pet food products.
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