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Ocean Spray ribbon cutting attracts hundreds to Upper Macungie

By LVEDC Staff on April 29, 2014

oceansprayC. Alan Walker said what many of us already know.

“If there’s one area that proves there’s an economic renaissance in Pennsylvania it’s the Lehigh Valley.”

Pennsylvania’s secretary of the department of community and economic development made the comment on April 29th during the grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the state-of-the-art Ocean Spray facility in Upper Macungie Township.

“Projects like this don’t come together without a team working together … and this project was truly a team effort … from start to finish,” Walker added. “Ocean Spray … the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation … the Governor’s Action Team … and state and local elected officials … all collaborated to make today happen.”

The company that is known for its many thirst-quenching cranberry drinks and snacks hosted hundreds of guests in a large tent on their facility’s grounds. The who’s who included Walker; Randy Papadellis, Ocean Spray’s president and CEO; Peter Dhillon, Ocean Spray’s chairman of the board; Erich Fritz, vice president of engineering and new technologies for Ocean Spray, and Tim Haggerty, plant director at the Lehigh Valley plant facility.

The speakers revealed why Ocean Spray decided to splash down in the Lehigh Valley: The region is a perfect fit for the company’s philosophy and the location is where they wanted to set up shop.

The new plant is the crown jewel for the 84-year-old iconic company. The 315,000-square-foot structure, which cost $110 million to build, is nestled smartly on about 44 acres of land – a stone’s throw from the brand new Bimbo bakeries USA facility.

The Pa. DCED made about $4.52 million available in incentives through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority to construct the building. When fully operational, the plant will handle about 40 percent of the company’s beverage volume.

Ocean Spray is an agricultural cooperative and consumer goods company that is owned by more than 650 cranberry growers and 48 grapefruit owners. Ocean Spray is the number one cranberry juice and cranberry foods maker in the world, realizing annual sales of $2 billion in the United States alone.

The Lehigh Valley plant will bottle Ocean Spray juices along with Nestlé’s Juicy Juice products. It is estimated that once fully operational, the facility will produce about 32 million cases of product annually.

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