Despite considerable recovery by the US economy amid lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the amount of investment activity in North American food & beverage facilities remained relatively weak in April, decelerating from March to well below 2020's average.
That's according to the latest report from industrial and commercial market intelligence firm SalesLeads, which tracks investment project activity for facilities across numerous verticals, including food & beverage. These projects include announcements for new facilities, or upgrades to existing ones.
SalesLeads tracked 61 such food & beverage facility projects announced in April — down from 70 in both March and February, and down from an average of 72.7 projects per month during 2020 (down 9 percent from 2019). The underwhelming April shows that activity may still be subdued due to the pandemic's lasting impacts on capital spending plans across this manufacturing sector.
SalesLeads' April recap was broken down as follows:
- 49 projects were for processing facilities (55 in March, 53 in February)
- 17 were for distribution and industrial warehouse (20 in March, 14 in February)
- 26 were new construction projects (26 in March, 23 in February)
- 20 were expansion projects (18 in March, 20 in February)
- 23 projects entailed renovations and equipment upgrades (35 in March, 30 in February)
- 0 projects were for plant closures (2 in March, 2 in February)
- Texas and Georgia led all US states in activity with four projects each, followed by Wisconsin, Ohio, Virginia, Illinois and North Carolina al with three apiece, while Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Indiana each had two.
During April, SalesLeads identified six new food & beverage facility construction projects with an estimated value of at least $100 million — up from four in both March and February. The largest April project announcement is from E. and J. Gallo Winery, which plans to invest $400 million to build a production facility in Fort Lawn, SC. They are currently seeking approval for the project.
The other largest food & beverage facility construction projects SalesLeads identified in April included:
- Agriculture giant Cargill, which plans to invest $350 million to build a processing facility in Regina, Saskatchewan.
- Beverage company Niagara Bottling, which plans to invest $150 million for the renovation and equipment upgrades on a 634,300-square-foot processing facility in Kansas City, MO.
- Tofu products maker House Foods, which plans to invest $146 million to build a 350,000-square-foot processing facility in Louisville, KY.
- Cocoa products distributor Dependable Distribution Services, which is planning a renovation and equipment upgrades on a recently-leased 200,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution facility in Philadelphia.
- Bakery company Grupo Bimo, which plans to invest $25 million for the renovation and equipment upgrades on a 100,000-square-foot processing facility in Valdosta, GA.
- Greenhouse farming company Pete's, which plans to invest $18 million to build a processing facility on a 24-acre site in Warner Robins, GA.
- Specialty Foods maker Riviana Foods, which plans to invest $15 million for the renovation and equipment upgrades on their processing facility in Memphis, TN.
- Specialty animal feed company Enviroflight, which plans to invest $9 million to build a 30,000-square-foot office and laboratory facility in Apex, NC.
- Snack food maker Frito-Lay, which plans to expand and renovate and 35,000-square-foot processing facility in Cranberry, TWP, PA.
- Bakery products maker Mama Jo Homestyle Pies, which plans to build a 17,000-square-foot processing facility in Amherst, OH.