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Petsource by Scoular Plans Seward, Nebraska, Plant Expansion

Petsource by Scoular is planning a 70,000-square-foot expansion that will triple its production capacity to meet increasing demand for freeze-dried pet food at its plant in Seward, Nebraska. The $75 million project is expected to create up to 80 jobs.

Expansion of the manufacturing facility is projected to be completed in early 2023. The 105,000-square-foot, $50 million facility in Seward became fully operational in November 2020. Petsource now employs just over 100 people.

"Pet owners have shown a steadily increasing desire for high-protein, nutrient dense, and raw nutrition pet food options when feeding their new family members," said Petsource President Amy Patterson. "I'm thrilled that Petsource and the community of Seward can be part of the solution for our pet food customers seeking to meet the growing demand for freeze-dried pet food."

According to company officials the COVID-19 pandemic has substantially increased pet ownership to a record 70 percent of U.S. households. Pet food brands are expanding their premium products for this new generation of consumers, and freeze-dried products are among the fastest-growing pet food categories. The freeze-drying process protects and maintains an ingredient's nutrition and taste, while extending its shelf life without added preservatives.

"The Petsource facility in Seward has been a big success," said Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts. "Only a year after opening, it's already planning a major increase in capacity. This expansion will create more jobs as well as opportunities for Nebraska farmers and ranchers to supply chicken and beef to source the facility. Congratulations to Seward, and thanks to Scoular for choosing to grow here in the Good Life."

The Petsource said the plant expansion is a critical component to larger strategic growth plans supporting the pet food industry, which include over $200 million in planned capital investments over the next several years.

"Petsource has been a tremendous community partner for Seward," added Jonathan Jank, CEO and Executive Director of the Seward County Chamber and Development Partnership. "Their expansion will be the single largest economic development project investment in the history of Seward County. We're grateful for Petsource's continued growth, which will benefit the area for years to come."

The indirect wholly owned, independently operated, subsidiary of Scoular is a turnkey contract manufacturer for the pet food industry; it produces products to support its pet food customers' brand names rather than its own. The company provides recipe development, raw meat processing, freeze-drying, and packaging solutions. It is among the first nationwide to bring these steps together in one integrated facility.

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