Simmons Pet Food, a leading supplier of custom and private label pet food solutions in the U.S. and Canada, opened its new $60 million Flexible Packaging Facility in Emporia, Kansas, on June 6 with a ribbon cutting.
This multi-million-dollar investment brings approximately 100 new jobs, with the potential for up to 200 new jobs when the facility expansion reaches full capacity. Prior to the expansion, Simmons Pet Food employed approximately 500 team members at its Emporia location.
“The expansion of our operations in Emporia signals to our customers that we are stepping up our game in a major way. We want to build strong and lasting relationships with our customers and flexible packaging is what our customers expect. Now we have the capacity and the capability to meet growing market demand and accentuate our leadership in the industry. The economic vitality of this region is a big part of enabling Simmons Pet Food to make this happen. We are Emporia Proud," said Jason Godsey, President of Simmons Pet Food.
With customer demand for cup, tub and pouch packaging formats projected to grow, the Flexible Packaging Facility strategically positions the company to be the leading supplier of flexible packaging solutions for the domestic market and to compete for new markets internationally.
By 2022 the Flexible Packaging Facility expansion expects to increase annual facility output to an estimated 9 million cases of wet pet food cups and 2.4 million cases of tubs.
“Today is a celebration of a job well done on the Simmons Pet Food expansion. This is the culmination of a long and successful partnership between Simmons, the City of Emporia and the Emporia RDA. Bringing projects like these to our region also would not be possible without infrastructure development, like the new water tower supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce EDA," said Kent Heermann, President, Regional Development Association of East Central Kansas.
While cat trends continue, the pandemic has added to overall slow-growth treatment of the cat food market.
Premiumization and humanization, as well as automation, fueled continued operation growth in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.