Leading private-label and contract manufacturer of wet pet food Simmons Pet Food is expanding operations in Edgerton and Emporia, Kansas. The $115 million project is expected to create 177 jobs.
A new 750,000-square-foot distribution hub will be built in Edgerton and a fourth high-speed canning line will be added to the company’s existing Emporia facility. The investments are part of Simmons' $500 million strategic growth plan.
“The fourth line in Emporia will be capable of producing 60,000 pounds per hour and will expand the total annual plant output to more than 70 million cases (1.6 billion units) by early 2024,” noted Scott Salmon, president of Simmons Pet Food.
The Emporia facility includes a flex plant (producing pet food in pouches, cups and tubs), in addition to the canned pet food plant. The combined operation has grown to employ more than 1,500 employees.
“Private sector investment and job growth have been at the forefront of Governor Kelly’s economic development strategy since Day 1,” said Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland. “The state will continue finding ways to encourage great companies like Simmons to expand and hire even more Kansans as we work to accelerate the state’s economic growth rate.”
Simmons Foods and its affiliates process and supply poultry, pet, and animal food. The company supplies retail products and wholesale products to other manufacturers, including manufacturing wet pet food for different brands. Operations are based in Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and Canada.
“We are pleased that Simmons Pet Food continues to invest in Emporia by adding this fourth production line,” said Chuck Scott, president of the Regional Development Association of East Central Kansas. “This announcement is an outstanding testament to the company’s commitment to its employees and to the entire Emporia area by continuing to add above-average paying jobs. The collaborative effort of all parties involved stand out as an example of what happens when excellent partners work together when businesses consider investments like this one by Simmons.”