Freshpet Announces Plans for New Manufacturing Operations in Lehigh Valley
By Colin McEvoy on May 4, 2022
Freshpet has announced its plans to construct a new state-of-the-art Innovation Kitchen near its existing Freshpet Kitchens campus in Hanover Township, Northampton County, a project that could create about 100 new jobs.
The 99,000 square-foot facility, expected to open in the second half of 2023, marks the latest in a string of expansions and continuous growth the healthy pet food company has experienced since moving to Lehigh Valley nine years ago.
“The Lehigh Valley has been a wonderful community and partner to Freshpet,” said Freshpet CEO Billy Cyr. “We moved to our current Kitchens facility here in 2013, expanded it twice, and we are excited to continue that legacy by constructing our new Innovation Kitchen in the Valley.”
The new Innovation Kitchen will house new manufacturing operations capable of producing innovative new pet food products, Cyr said. Freshpet’s mission is to improve the lives of dogs and cats through the power of fresh, real food.
“Freshpet’s commitment to constant innovation and providing our pets the highest quality fresh, nutritious, real food is unwavering,” Cyr said. “This new Innovation Kitchen is yet another step in our evolution and will focus solely on our new manufacturing technologies and product innovations to help propel our business forward and build upon the industry leadership position that we hold today.”
Freshpet, which was featured in a past Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) Fall Signature Event, already employs about 600 people and has been growing rapidly in the Lehigh Valley.
The company had previously built an additional Freshpet Kitchen facility in Hanover Township in 2020. The company also broke ground on an expansion in 2015, opened a new research and development center in 2016, and announced another expansion in 2018.
“Manufacturing is the second-largest sector in the Lehigh Valley economy, and food and beverage production was identified in our strategic plan as one of the high-value target sectors for the regional economy,” said LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham. “We’re proud to have a growing national company like Freshpet making its innovative pet food products right here in the Lehigh Valley.”
Freshpet has secured a lease with J.G. Petrucci Company, a full-service design/build specialist and developer. Petrucci’s subsidiary, Iron Hill Construction Management, will construct the shell and interior fit-out for Freshpet.
“This is an exciting project for our company as we accommodate an existing tenant’s growth in the Lehigh Valley and build a space that will lead to such new, innovative products for Freshpet,” says Joe Petrucci, Project Executive at J.G. 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.”
Freshpet foods are blends of fresh meats, vegetables and fruits farmed locally and made at Freshpet Kitchens. The company prepares its foods using natural ingredients, cooking them in small batches at lower temperatures to preserve the natural goodness of the ingredients.
Freshpet foods and treats are kept refrigerated from the moment they are made until they arrive in stores. The company’s products are available in select mass, grocery (including online), natural food, club, and pet specialty retailers across the United States, Canada and Europe.
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