KANSAS CITY, MO. — From July to December 2023, Pet Food Processing covered more than 30 new facility announcements, expansions and investments in operations. Through this recap, it’s clear that suppliers for the pet nutrition industry are focused on expanding their operations in order to keep pace with demands from processors.
Read the full recap below.
In August, whole food-based supplement company Standard Process announced the construction of its new distribution center. The 60,000-square-foot facility aims to support the company’s products, including its Veterinary Formulas™ portfolio. The company’s existing shipping and distribution operations will be relocated to the new distribution center, which will double its storage capacity and allow for future growth, according to Standard Process. The facility is set to be operational this summer.
Following the closing of its latest funding round in September, UK fresh dog food company Butternut Box shared its plans for the funding, including a new manufacturing facility. The new facility will represent the company’s second and provide it with complete visibility and control over its environmental emissions, according to Butternut Box. It will also help the company accelerate its position in the fresh pet food segment throughout the European Union.
On Sept. 27, United Premium Foods (UPF) announced a $1.8 million-plus investment in its operations, expanding its capabilities for the premium pet food market. The investments include several industrial processing, packaging and freezing systems to help the company support pet food processors. According to UPF, the investments will provide it with expanded production capabilities for a range of human and pet food products, including frozen patty formats and human-grade dog food.
Colgate-Palmolive’s pet food and treat division Hill’s Pet Nutrition opened the doors to a new smart manufacturing facility in Tonganoxie, Kan., on Oct. 16. Boasting 365,000 square feet, the facility features strategic automation and technological advancements, including AI to power a digital food safety system, automated robotic devices, enhanced food safety protocols, and end-to-end digital processing systems. The greenfield plant will produce more than 170 wet formulas for dogs and cats, building upon Hill’s Science Diet and Prescription Diet lines. Hill’s originally broke ground on the project in 2021, and it started operations on Sept. 22.
Across the pond in Hungary, Nestlé Purina announced a large operational expansion, investing nearly HUF 90 billion ($245.4 million USD) to ramp up its pet food capabilities. The company expanded its facility in Bük, increasing its total capacity at the factory by nearly 100,00 tons to 250,000 tons total. According to the company, the Bük plant currently exports 95% of its products throughout the globe.
On Oct. 19, ADM officially opened a new pet food production line at its facility in Guadalajara, Mexico. The company invested $33 million to establish the line, which will benefit its Ganador® and Minino® pet food brands, as well as support new innovation for ADM’s pet nutrition portfolio. The line will serve markets in Central America and Columbia.
Family-owned and -operated manufacturer Sunshine Mills acquired Red Collar Pet Foods’ treat facility in Joplin, Mo. The pet treat facility spans 200,000 square feet, including production and warehouse space, and is set to provide Sunshine Mills with additional capacity for baked and cold-formed treats for dogs and cats. According to Sunshine Mills, the plant’s central location also provides it with more efficient distribution.
In November, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) shared it had provided Independence Premium Foods with funds, allowing the company to invest $14.8 million into purchasing and refurbishing a former Blue Buffalo plant in Independence, Iowa. Independence Premium Foods will retrofit the facility, using it to co-manufacture various pet food products, primarily human-grade dog food. The company officially took over the facility on Dec. 1, with facility testing and pilot production set to wrap up this month.
Ukrainian pet food producer Kormotech detailed plans to significantly expand its operations in Kėdainiai, Lithuania, amidst the continuing war in Ukraine. As part of the plans, the company will invest more than $65.8 million, building upon its current 48,437-square-foot manufacturing facility in the region, which specializes in wet processing. Kormotech will embark upon four production stages, expanding its operations in the country from 2025 to 2028.
At the end of November, Spanish pet food manufacturer Picart Petcare opened a new facility, tripling its production capacity. According to the company, the new facility represents a significant milestone in its commitment to providing excellence and innovation in the pet food industry. The facility is equipped with advanced technology designed to ensure traceability throughout the entire production process.
C&D Foods ended the year with plans to expand its existing production site in Edgeworthstown, Ireland. The European manufacturer will invest roughly $52 million to expand the facility’s production capacity by 25%, in part by adding square footage to the facility. The expansion includes state-of-the-art multi-packing and pouch filling systems, enabling C&D to meet increasing demand for single-serve pet food throughout Europe.
On the supplier side, CropEnergies AG announced plans to invest millions in its subsidiary Ensus UK Ltd’s operations in Wilton, England. Most of the investment will be used to develop a new unit at Ensus that will produce high-protein animal feed for use in aquaculture and pet nutrition. Additional funds will be used to help Ensus improve its facility, including upgrading equipment and installing systems to reduce its environmental impact.
On Aug. 15, International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (IFF) completed a 3,700-square-foot expansion of its North American Creation and Design Center in New Century, Kan. The expansion includes a new lab dedicated to pet food product development that will provide manufacturers with access to high-quality ingredients, flavors, and product design expertise and tools.
BioVeritas cut the ribbon on its new 4,200-square-foot production and packaging facility on Aug. 22. The facility expands the company’s current footprint to a total of 32,200 square feet and is dedicated to developing food-grade samples for its customers.
Additionally, BioVeritas shared plans for its first commercial production facility in October, revealing it had initiated a second engineering phase for the facility. According to the company, the completion of this critical engineering phase marked a milestone for the company, bringing it closer to “revolutionizing” the ingredient industry. The facility is targeted for commissioning in 2026.
Ingredient supplier Anchor Ingredients Co., LLC, acquired a grain handling facility in Hatton, ND, as part of an auction. Boasting a storage capacity of nearly 700,000 bushels and drying capabilities, the facility is set to help the company expand its pet food ingredient portfolio and processing abilities. The facility’s location will also ensure a continuous supply for ingredient processing throughout Anchor’s entire facility network.
On Aug. 22, packaging manufacturer TC Transcontinental Packaging invested $60 million toward expanding its facility in Spartanburg, SC, by 120,00 square feet. The expansion includes an investment in a new film line that will produce biaxially oriented polyethylene (BOPE), as well as ancillary equipment, to develop mono-material, recyclable flexible plastic-based packaging solutions that offer improved heat resistance for various industries. The facility expansion and investment are expected to be completed this year.
Toward the end of August, Symrise Pet Food inaugurated its new palatant production facility in Chapecó, Brazil. The facility produces palatants for dog and cat food formulas, with the expansion representing the biggest global footprint for Symrise Pet Food, according to the company. The palatant plant spans over 107,639 square feet and features advanced technology, full automation capabilities, and a high operational efficiency. According to Symrise, the facility triples its production capacity for pet food palatants in Brazil, allowing it to meeting increasing demand in the country and throughout the world.
Lan Handling Technologies cut the ribbon at its newest US site in Jacksonville, Fla. The new facility opened on Sept. 1 and marks the third location of the company globally. The expansion will improve its services for its growing stateside customer base, according to the company.
Food processing company Middleby opened a 68,000-square-foot facility in Palmetto, Fla. The facility serves as an innovation center for Middleby’s Hinds-Bock and Inline Filling Systems brands, providing concentric manufacturing, research and development capabilities. It also showcases the company’s latest equipment and offers on-site testing.
In October, Bioflytech revealed details on its new facility located in Palas de Rei in the Spanish region of Galicia, announcing that rendering and drying areas of the plant were being set up. The facility is the company’s second. In its first phase, the plant will produce 12,000 tonnes of black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) annually, significantly expanding its current capacity. According to Bioflytech, the facility will enable the company to become one of the world’s leading players in the production of insect ingredients.
Metal packaging supplier Eviosys invested $8.37 million to expand its operations, expanding its facilities in Alcochete, Portugal, and Murica and Ribadumia, Spain. The investment will enable the company to ramp up its production capacity for two-piece cans. It is also expected to fuel Eviosys’ capabilities in custom printing and enhance its logistics.
Amber Wave finalized its new wheat protein facility, beginning production in October. Construction on the facility began in July 2021. According to Amber Wave, the plant is “North America’s largest wheat protein facility,” producing vital wheat gluten for a variety of nutritional industries. The facility is expected to make Amber Wave a leader in wheat protein and advanced biofuel production.
Scoular upgraded its grain handling facility in Adrian, Mo., dubbing the facility as a “sustainability showcase hub.” The facility was originally built in 2012 and the agribusiness company completed an extensive upgrade to it in 2022. The upgraded operation will provide opportunities to test and develop sustainability solutions for farmers, feed and food customers, and the greater community, with an overarching goal to significantly decrease resource consumption and greenhouse gas emissions while improving product quality and food safety.
In November, Bühler Group shared it would be supporting Lithuanian insect ingredient producer Divaks, as it seeks to develop its first commercial-scale facility. The plant will produce yellow mealworm ingredients and will build upon Divaks’ pilot plant, which was originally established in 2022. The commercial-scale facility will span approximately 107,639 square feet with a capacity of up to 15,000 tonnes annually, enabling Divaks to double its production. With process technology support from Bühler, the facility is set to be completed in 2025.
Additionally this year, Bühler also unveiled its new food innovation hub in Uzwil, Switzerland, bringing together a range of capabilities into one location. Four Application and Training Centers — Flavor Creation Center, Food Creation Center, Protein Application Center and Energy Recovery Center — are open to customers and will complement the company’s existing innovation centers.
On Nov. 9, conveyor belt manufacturer Wire Belt Co. of America hosted a grand opening ceremony for its new manufacturing facility. Located in Bedford, NH, the facility spans 120,000 square feet and features cutting-edge technology and infrastructure.
Sustainable protein biotechnology company MicroHarvest launched its cutting-edge pilot plant on Nov. 17. The pilot plant is located at the company’s Factory Lisbon site in Portugal. It is expected to help MicroHarvest accelerate growth toward commercialization and market availability. The facility will produce protein samples for its customers, further allowing MicroHarvest to hone its technology and test production runs before commercial scale.
Retailers and distributors
On the distribution and retail side, Fressnapf Group announced its takeover of a logistics facility, marking its eighth logistics center in Europe. The 511,285-square-foot facility features about 341,215 square feet of storage and technical space, about 148,541 square feet of mezzanine storage space, and about 18,298 square feet of office space. It will serve as a regional warehouse for Fressnapf, facilitating future business expansions and supporting the company’s pet retail business throughout Europe.
Legault Group, parent company of pet retailer Mondou, shared the construction of a new state-of-the-art automated warehouse and distribution center in Canada. Legault invested over $90 million in the project. The new facility will span almost 400,000 square feet and will feature leading-edge technology, automated order processing systems and smart inventory management, allowing Mondou to respond to customer needs more efficiently. The new center is set to be operational by 2025.
On Sept. 13, Pet Valu opened its new 670,000-square-foot distribution center. Called GTA DC, the facility has allowed the Canadian pet retailer to further scale automation in the pet food and supplies industry. During the first half of this year, Pet Valu will introduce automation capabilities to the new facility, installing Canada’s largest goods-to-person robotics system solely dedicated to pet specialty products. The facility’s technology will allow the retailer to process same-day orders, improve pick productivity by at least 50%, and reduce its overall footprint.
Zooplus and GXO Logistics announced a new logistics and fulfillment center toward the end of 2023. Leveraging GXO’s technology, the center boasts a parcel fulfillment capacity of about 645,834 square feet, which is expected to help Zooplus increase its daily delivery capacity and offer customers faster delivery times. It is capable of managing a significant range of 14,000 pet products, from supplies to food, shipping over 200,000 customer parcels weekly.
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