Simmons Pet Food, a trusted leader in private label and contract manufacturing of pet food, plans to establish a new wet canned pet food operation in Dubuque, Iowa. This advances the company’s plans to expand its annual production capacity by approximately 408 million units in 2021.
In making the announcement, Scott Salmon, President of Simmons Pet Food, stated, “We are pleased to establish operations in the community of Dubuque and bring new jobs to the area with industry-leading pay and benefits. The region has a quality workforce and is an ideal location to service our customers across the U.S. and Canada.”
Simmons Pet Food is an affiliate of Simmons Foods. David Jackson, Chief Operating Officer of Simmons Foods, noted, “This location will meet the needs for the two phases of expansion we have planned for our canned pet food operation in 2021 and beyond. Equipment installation will begin very quickly, with the first phase of production scheduled to begin by July 1, 2021.”
At full capacity, the new operation will bring over 270 new jobs to the community. The workforce will include hourly and salaried positions in management, production, safety, quality, packaging, human resources, continuous improvement and more. Prospective team members may visit workatsimmons.com to learn more about careers and benefits at Simmons. The company will announce hiring events at a future date.
The operation will be located in a modern and spacious 250,000 square foot facility in the Dubuque Industrial Center. The building was formerly occupied by Flexsteel. The company plans to invest approximately $80 million in the project over the next three years.
This latest expansion builds on a $100 million investment and growth plan that included the new Emporia Flex Plant in 2019 and a new high-speed can line at the Emporia Main Plant, which achieved full operation in October of this year.
Rick Dickinson, President & CEO of the Greater Dubuque Development Corporation, also offered comment on the announcement, “The Greater Dubuque area is pleased to welcome Simmons Pet Foods to our vibrant corporate community—their company mission and values complement the many employers who make our area home. Simmons’ investment in Dubuque is a testament to our skilled workforce and environment of public/private collaboration. We look forward to our partnership with this industry leader in pet food manufacturing.”
Salmon added, “We’re excited to grow our footprint and continue on our journey to be the most trusted partner in our industry for food that nourishes and delights the pets we love.”
New shelter data casts doubt on whether the pet population and pet ownership are truly growing.
While the pandemic caused unprecedented suffering worldwide in 2020, the disruptions to dogs, cats and other pets adoption numbers may normalize in 2021.