Planned Food Mfg. Projects Rebound to Pre-Pandemic Levels in July

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A new report by industrial and commercial market intelligence firm SalesLeads found the number of planned North American food and beverage industry projects had a considerable month-to-month increase in July, following four straight months of subdued activity amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

SalesLeads' monthly report tracking new such projects in North America showed 77 of them during the month of July, up from 59, 67 and 64 in June, May and April. 

The firm’s July recap is broken down as follows:

  • 57 projects were for processing facilities (43 in June, 39 in May, 42 in April, 43 in March)
  • 21 were for distribution and industrial warehouse (20 in June, 20 in May, 24 in April, 26 in March)
  • 30 were new construction projects (17 in June, 19 in May, 15 in April, 18 in March)
  • 23 were expansion projects (19 in June, 17 in May, 16 in April, 17 in March)
  • 35 projects entailed renovations and equipment upgrades (27 in June, 32 in May, 34 in April, 27 in March)
  • 1 project was a plant closing (1 each in June, May and April, 4 in March)
  • Ohio led all US states and provinces in the number of planned July food & beverage manufacturing projects, with eight. California had seven, followed by Pennsylvania and Texas with two each, Illinois with four, the foursome of Idaho, Ontario, Colorado and Tennessee had three each, and New York had two.

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During July, SalesLeads identified five new food & beverage facility construction projects with an estimated value of at least $100 million, compared to only two in June and one in May, while April's largest project was valued at only $60 million.

The largest July project comes from Norweigan aquaculture company AquaCon AS, which plans to invest $300 million to construct a processing complex in Federalsburg, MD. Construction will occur in three phases starting early next year, with completion of the first phase expected in 2024., which plans to invest $300 million to construct a 918,000-square-foot distribution center in Hernando, MS.

The other largest food & bev. construction projects SalesLeads identified in July included:

  • Food Plant EiStockSnack food maker Frito-Lay North America, which plans to invest $200 million for expansion and equipment upgrades at their processing facilities in Perry, GA and Kathleen, GA.
  • Chocolate maker The Hershey Company, which plans to invest $135 million for a 90,000-square-foot expansion and equipment upgrades of their processing facility in Stuarts Draft, VA. Hershey also plans to invest $100 million to construct an 840,000-square-foot warehouse and office facility in Annville, PA.
  • Starbucks plans to construct a 1 million-square-foot distribution center in Brentwood, TN, for an undisclosed investment amount.
  • Food and beverage company Kraft Heinz, which plans to invest $48 million for expansion and equipment upgrades at their processing facility in Springfield, MO.
  • Superior Dairy plans to invest $25 million for expansion and equipment upgrades of their processing facility in Canton, OH.
  • Frozen food maker Birds Eye Foods plans to invest $11 million to construct a 200,000-square-foot processing facility in Waseca, MN.
  • Beef processing company Caviness Beef Packers plans to invest $10 million to construct a 112,000-square-foot warehouse and processing facility in Amarillo, TX.
  • Canadian grocery retail chain Empire Company is considering constructing multiple warehouses and distribution facilities in the greater Toronto, Ontario area for an undisclosed investment amount.
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