Mars Petcare, part of Mars, Inc., will invest $117 million at its manufacturing plant in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The project is expected to create 140 new full-time jobs, on top of the more than 120 announced in January.
Facility expansion is underway and all phases of the project are scheduled for completion in 2023. With the latest investment the company will build a new 47,000 square-foot warehouse and add two additional production lines to the facility. This, plus new production lines previously announced, a total of four, will increase production capacity by more than 75 percent, which is equivalent to more than 1 billion meals per year.
“Pet parents are at the center of everything we do, and at Mars Petcare, we’re committed to answering their evolving needs as a trusted partner for pet parents,” said Ikdeep Singh, Regional President of Mars Pet Nutrition North America. “The role of pets in our lives has grown even stronger during the pandemic, and our latest investment in Fort Smith enables us to deepen our commitment to our Associates and the City of Fort Smith while also living our purpose: A Better World For Pets.”
According to state officials, collectively Mars Petcare has invested a total of nearly $540 million in its Fort Smith facility.
“Fort Smith has developed a reputation as a hub for manufacturing,” Arkansas Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston said. “That reputation grows once again as Mars Petcare is poised for its second expansion this year. I applaud the company for its continued confidence in our workforce, and I am delighted that a household name like Mars Petcare continues to expand in Arkansas.”
Since opening in September 2009, the Fort Smith facility, which is one of 14 Mars Petcare sites in the United States, was named Arkansas’ first sustainable manufacturing facility and the first sustainable pet food manufacturing facility in the world. The facility is LEED-Gold certified from the United States Green Building Council and achieved gold status for its efforts to recycle water, reduce energy use, and protect against erosion and light pollution.
“The Chamber and the Mars Petcare leadership team have partnered together since 2007, from the development of the original facility to working on its tremendous growth in western Arkansas over the years. We’re fortunate to have a world-class company like Mars Petcare in our backyard and proud to support its purpose-driven business,” said Tim Allen, President and CEO of the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce.