Simmons Pet Food, a supplier of custom and private label pet food solutions in North America, has broken ground on a facility expansion at its Flexible Packaging Facility in Emporia, Kansas.

The US$38 million investment will increase operations by 200,000 square feet and create approximately 100 new jobs in the Emporia area. The company expects to begin operations in 2019. Simmons Pet Food currently employs 500 people at its Emporia location.

“The expansion of our operations in Emporia represents a story about the strength of good people doing great work, strong performance and dependable partnerships,” said Jason Beyer, vice president of operations at Simmons Pet Food, in a press release. “Emporia is the place we call home and we are proud to be part of helping this community grow through job creation.”

Expanding to meet consumer demand

The Emporia Flexible Packaging Facility expansion will increase Simmons Pet Food’s capacity for flexible production and packaging for select wet pet food products. With demand for cup, tub and pouch packaging formats projected to exceed the existing capabilities, this expansion will add substantial capacity to ensure Simmons Pet Food meets customer demand.

The expansion will increase yearly facility output to an estimated 12.4 million cases of wet pet food cups and 2.4 million cases of tubs when it reaches full capacity in 2022.

“Today’s announcement by Simmons Pet Food is great news for the economy in East Central Kansas,” said Kent Heermann, president, regional development association, East Central Kansas. “This expansion will create even more skilled, well-paying jobs for the qualified workforce in the region. We are proud to have worked collaboratively with Simmons Pet Food, the City of Emporia, and the Kansas Department of Commerce on this expansion.”

The flexible packaging expansion is not the only construction happening at the Simmons Pet Food complex, however. The company is also building a Care Clinic at the location to serve local team members. It is scheduled to open in winter of 2018. The Simmons Care Clinic network offers comprehensive family care to covered team members and their dependents at no cost including preventative services, acute and general health care and treatment of chronic conditions.