BETHLEHEM, Pennsylvania. – The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) and Freshpet, Inc. shared May 4 details of the fresh pet food company’s plans to build a new manufacturing kitchen in Hanover Township, County of Northampton. The project is expected to create approximately 100 new jobs in the region.
“Manufacturing is the second largest sector of the Lehigh Valley economy, and food and beverage production has been identified in our strategic plan as one of the high value-added target sectors for the regional economy. said Don Cunningham, President and CEO of LVEDC. “We are proud to have a growing national company like Freshpet that manufactures its innovative pet food products right here in the Lehigh Valley.”
The new, state-of-the-art Innovation Kitchen is expected to be operational in the second half of 2023. The facility will span 99,000 square feet and house new pet food manufacturing lines to boost the product innovation and to increase the capacity of Freshpet.
“The Lehigh Valley has been a wonderful community and partner for Freshpet,” said Billy Cyr, CEO of Freshpet. “We moved to our current kitchen facility here in 2013, expanded it twice, and are excited to continue that legacy by building our new innovation kitchen in the valley.”
The Innovation Kitchen will be located near the company’s existing Freshpet Kitchens campus in Hanover Township. The company currently employs approximately 600 people in the Lehigh Valley area. According to LVEDC, Freshpet has continuously invested in its expansion in the Canton of Hannover since 2015. The company inaugurated the expansion of its facilities in 2015, opened an R&D center in 2016, committed to further expansion in 2018 and built an additional kitchen in the area. in 2020.
“Freshpet’s commitment to constant innovation and to providing our pets with the highest quality fresh, nutritious and authentic foods is unwavering,” added Cyr. “This new innovation kitchen is another step in our evolution and will focus solely on our new manufacturing technologies and product innovations to help propel our business forward and strengthen the industry leading position. that we hold today.”
The project is one of several capacity expansions currently in Freshpet’s operational pipeline. The company announced on its first quarter earnings call that it plans to add additional packaging lines to its Kitchens South plant, and the first phase of construction is currently underway for its new plant in Ennis, Texas. .
Freshpet partners with JG Petrucci Company, a design/build company based in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. JG Petrucci’s subsidiary, Iron Hill Construction Management, will lead the construction of the exterior and interior of the new Innovation Kitchen.
“This is an exciting project for our company as we welcome the growth of an existing tenant in the Lehigh Valley and build a space that will lead to such innovative new products for Freshpet,” said Joe Petrucci, project manager at JG Petrucci Company. “Iron Hill is moving full steam ahead and coordinating closely with the Freshpet team. We can’t wait to get this project started.
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