Simmons Pet Food Inc., a company of Siloam Springs-based Simmons Foods Inc. and Affiliates, recently opened a $60 million Flexible Packaging Facility in Emporia, Kan.
The 208,000-square-foot plant is expected to add 100 new jobs to the existing workforce of 500 people. By 2022, 200 new jobs are expected to be added. Before the facility opened, Simmons Pet Food employed 500 people at its Emporia location.
The plant began operating in May and will increase Simmons’ production capacity for flexible wet pet food packaging. The plant features new cooking technology and packaging automation and can produce cup, tub and pouch packaging. By 2022, it will have an annual capacity to produce 9 million cases of wet pet food cups and 2.4 million cases of tubs.
“The expansion of our operations in Emporia signals to our customers that we are stepping up our game in a major way,” said Jason Godsey, president of Simmons Pet Food. “We want to build strong and lasting relationships with our customers and flexible packaging is what our customers expect. Now we have the capacity and the capability to meet growing market demand and accentuate our leadership in the industry. The economic vitality of this region is a big part of enabling Simmons Pet Food to make this happen. We are Emporia proud.”
Simmons recently hosted a ribbon cutting at the new facility in Emporia, a city of about 24,000 people more than 100 miles southwest of Kansas City, Mo.
“Today is a celebration of a job well done on the Simmons Pet Food expansion,” said Kent Heermann, president of Emporia Regional Development Association of East Central Kansas (RDA). “This is the culmination of a long and successful partnership between Simmons, the city of Emporia and the Emporia RDA. Bringing projects like these to our region also would not be possible without infrastructure development, like the new water tower supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce EDA.”
Simmons Pet Food supplies custom and private label pet food in the United States and Canada and operates three wet pet food production facilities, a dry pet food facility and a treats production facility. The plants are in Northwest Arkansas, Kansas, New Jersey and Ontario, Canada. Founded in 1949, Simmons is a vertically integrated supplier of poultry, pet food and feed ingredients. The privately-owned, family-led business has more than 6,000 employees throughout North America.