As part of a strategic growth plan valuing US$500 million, Simmons Pet Food have announced plans for a fourth high-speed canning line at its Emporia, Kansas facility, a new petfood distribution facility in nearby Edgerton, Kansas, and a second line of canned petfood at its Iowa facility. Earlier this year the company exited from dry petfood and pet treats as part of its plan to focus solely on wet petfood.
The company’s Emporia facility has been operating since 1998 which began with one line and 250 staff. Now the facility includes a flex plant – to produce petfood in pouches, cups and tubs – and the canned petfood plant. The operation has grown to employ more than 1500 members of staff.
“The fourth line in Emporia will be capable of producing 60,000 pounds per hour and will expand the total annual plant output to more than 70 million cases by early 2024,” explains Scott Salmon, president of Simmons Pet Food. “As we set the Emporia plans in motion, we are on the eve of also starting operations of our second line of production at our Dubuque facility.”
Alongside its new canned petfood facility in Emporia, Simmons Pet Food will be investing in packaging automation and new distribution hub in Edgerton to meet growing demand for multi- and variety-packed petfood. The distribution centre is due to open later this year.
“We are thrilled to establish a 750,000 square foot distribution hub in … Edgerton, Kansas,” says Chad Morris, senior vice president of Supply Chain at Simmons. “Edgerton is an ideal location for new warehouse capacity and automated packaging operations to streamline the distribution of product to our customers throughout the US.”
Both Edgerton and Emporia projects are part of a US$115 million investment which will create 177 jobs.
“We are excited that Simmons Pet Food has chosen once again to invest in the community of Emporia,” says Becky Smith, Mayor of the City of Emporia. “Simmons Pet Food is a leader in showing how a company can balance profits and the wellbeing of their team members. The petfood industry is growing, and Simmons is clearly a company that is leading the industry.
“The addition of this fourth production line is an outstanding testament to the company’s commitment to its team members, its customers and to the region,” adds Chuck Scott, President of the Regional Development Association of East Central Kansas. “All parties involved, from the local, regional and state level, stand out as excellent partners when businesses consider investments like this one by Simmons.”
“Emporia and the state of Kansas have been excellent partners for Simmons,” concludes Mr Salmon. “We are grateful for their support as we grow our business, provide opportunities for team members and carry out our vision to be the most trusted partner in the industry for food that nourishes and delights the pets we love.”
The new canned petfood facility was opened in Iowa in 2021 with a second line beginning operation in August this year.
For more information on Simmons Pet Food visit their website, HERE.