Gray, a leading design-build firm, and Scoular, a global supply chain and solutions’ provider, held a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate a new state-of-the-art freeze-dried manufacturing facility in Seward, Nebraska. The facility establishes a new freeze-dried pet food ingredients business owned and operated by an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Scoular.
Gray was selected to provide the engineering, architecture and construction on this monumental project spanning 105,000 s.f.
“We’re thrilled to be part of this exciting endeavor,” said Stephen Gray, president and CEO of Gray. “The state-of-the-art facility is sure to make a positive impact on the industry and local economy.”
Including a warehouse, cold storage rooms for raw meat, freeze dryers and clean rooms, the new facility will produce high quality, safe products for pet food customers and will meet the fast-growing demand for freeze-dried pet food ingredients.
“We are continually identifying new ways to meet our customers’ needs and help solve their business requirements. This new facility reflects this commitment, as one of the first in the country to bring multiple phases of the freeze-drying manufacturing process under one roof for the pet food industry,” said Scoular CEO Paul Maass.
The groundbreaking ceremony included an official “turning of the dirt” on site, followed by a community luncheon in Seward. Speakers included Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, Scoular CEO Paul Maass, City of Seward Mayor Josh Eickmeier and President and CEO of the Seward County Chamber and Development Jonathan Jank, Guests consisted of local government officials, partners, team members and friends.
The goal of the project is to be operational by the fall of 2020. At peak construction, the project will have close to 150 workers on site.
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.