Barrett Petfood Innovations (BPI), a pet food manufacturer specialized in premium dog and cat food, celebrates breaking ground at their second production facility. The 160,000 square-foot facility located on 18th Street Northeast in Little Falls, Minn., is expected to be completed in June 2020 and will more than double the company's production and employee numbers.
Growth in the pet food industry exceeds most other consumer goods, with annual spending on pet food in the US surpassing $30 billion in 2018. Barrett Petfood Innovations has continuously expanded their Brainerd location since production began in 2006 and is currently running at capacity 24 hours a day, five days a week. Recently the firm secured additional space at the Brainerd Industrial Complex to support the Brainerd plant through storage and logistics.
Construction of the new facility will feature innovations and streamlined processes developed at the Brainerd plant. In addition to current capabilities, the new facility will include a state-of-the-art production line designed and built by Wenger Manufacturing in Sabetha, KS. The Wenger TT3630 Thermal Twin will be a first of its kind by any contract manufacturer in North America. This will allow Barrett Petfood to produce extremely high fresh meat, fruit, and vegetable diets. In addition to conventional extrusion the new facility will allow for baked pet food production. The Little Falls facility has also been designed to easily accommodate additional expansion, with the potential to triple current production numbers in years to come. The Little Falls facility is expected to create at least 85 high quality jobs in the next three years.
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is a strong supporter of the project. DEED has invested $450,000 from the Minnesota Investment Fund and $175,000 from the Job Creation Fund. Following the announcement Governor Tim Walz stated, "Barrett Petfood Innovations is a rapidly growing company in central Minnesota with customers located around the world, I congratulate Little Falls and Barrett Petfood Innovations on this new expansion." The City of Little Falls has also been supportive in this project, unanimously approving the sale of the city owned 52 acre lot through TIF. BPI has been listening closely to members of the community to answer any questions or concerns regarding their impact to the Chief Hole in the Day Industrial Park and surrounding area.
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By Lindsay Beaton