Petsource by Scoular has completed a $75 million expansion at its Seward, Nebraska, plant that delivers extra capacity to help current customers grow and space to accommodate new customers seeking production at its state-of-the-art facility.
The company said the tripling of capacity also enables customers to more efficiently introduce new products to the market, with the expansion providing an additional 70,000 square feet of freeze-dried pet food ingredient manufacturing space. Freeze-dried products are among the fastest-growing pet food categories.
"Petsource identified a need in the market to help brands expand their product offerings in freeze dried," Chad Kucks, director of commercial operations at Petsource by Scoular, explained to Petfood Industry. "Freeze-dried manufacturing capacity was limited overall, but Petsource also adds premium capacity because of the high-level of service and food safety practices deployed in every product manufactured.
"Companies need to feel good about protecting their brands and consumers," continued Kucks. "New customers have been seeking both Petsource’s integrated production process, and its food safety and quality standards, another factor setting it above many competitors."
The expansion of Petsource’s Seward facility created 75 new jobs, with more hiring planned. Petsource now employees over 150 people, making it one of the top 10 largest employers in Seward County, a business hub in southeast Nebraska, noted Scoular. Petsource is an indirect, wholly owned and independently operated subsidiary of Scoular.
Freeze-dried pet food products
According to the company, freeze dry offers a high-nutrition impact found in popular fresh and frozen raw diets with the convenience of the products being shelf stable and having a long shelf life.
The company said it has been a leader in streamlining the manufacturing of freeze-dried pet food products. Petsource was among the first nationwide to bring the manufacturing steps together under one roof when it opened in 2020 – providing everything from recipe development to raw meat processing, freeze-drying, and packaging – creating an end-to-end solution for brand owners to help support their growth initiatives, said Petsource president Amy Patterson.
“We are excited we can deliver additional capacity for our customers, both current and future, and support their growth plans,” said Patterson. “Strong demand, growth in our customers’ businesses, and our desire to continue to provide them high quality, innovative solutions drove the project.”
“Scoular thrives both on helping our valued customers grow and helping our communities prosper,” said Maass. “We are proud to continue to invest in the state we have called home for over 130 years.”
Scoular has partnered with pet food manufacturers for decades and will continue to invest to support the marketplace’s growth, Kucks told Petfood Industry. The Petsource expansion is a critical component to larger strategic growth plans supporting the pet food industry.
"Petsource is a freeze-dried contract manufacturer, so any pet food brand looking to add freeze-dried product offerings will benefit from Petsource’s capabilities and capacity," said Kucks.
"Scoular and Petsource focus on adding high-value capabilities to the pet food industry that will allow brands to grow and flourish," said Kucks. "The Petsource freeze dry facility expansion is the first of many ways Scoular and Petsource will continue to be a valuable partner to the pet food industry."
Kucks said Petsource will continue to evaluate market needs and the needs of their customers to enable growth, food safety and product innovation.