November Sees Rebound in Planned Food Facility Project Activity

Activity was back on pace with the year's average after two straight sub-par months, led by a major investment from J.M. Smucker.

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After two straight sub-par months, the pace of capital investment activity in food & beverage manufacturing facilities picked up considerably in November, according to the latest data by industrial and commercial intelligence firm SalesLeads.

They tracked 69 such projects during November, covering plans for new facilities, expansions or upgrades. That's up from 59 projects in October and 61 in September. Activity was robust over the summer — with 86 projects in August, 72 in July and 70 in June — and the firm tracked an average of 72.7 projects per month during 2020.


SalesLeads' November recap was broken down as follows:

  • 53 projects were for processing facilities (46 in October, 45 in September)
  • 21 were for distribution and industrial warehouse (15 in October, 19 in September)
  • 29 were new construction projects (26 in October, 25 in September)
  • 17 were expansion projects (16 in October, 16 in September)
  • 27 projects entailed renovations and equipment upgrades (19 in October, 22 in September)
  • 2  projects were for a plant closure (4 in October, 5 in September, 5 in August, 0 in July)
  • Florida and Ontario led all U.S. states and Canadian territories in the number of November food & bev. facility projects with five apiece. California, Ohio, Wisconsin and Indiana each had four, while Illinois, New York, Missouri and Minnesota had three apiece.

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According to SalesLeads' data, November had five new food & beverage facility construction projects with an estimated value of at least $100 million — down from nine in October, but outpacing the three and four from September and August, respectively. The largest tracked food & beverage November project announcement was from J.M. Smucker Company, which plans to invest $1 billion for the construction of a processing facility in McCalla, AL. Construction will occur in phases and is expected to start in early 2022, with completion set for 2025.

The other largest food & beverage facility construction projects SalesLeads identified in November included:

  • Meat processing firm American Foods Group, which plans to invest $450 million to build a processing plant in Wright City, MO. They are currently seeking approval for the project, for which completion is set for late 2024.
  • Robotic greenhouse farming company Iron Ox, which plans to invest $120 million to build a 1-million-square-foot processing facility in Lockhard, TX. Completion is set for Summer 2023.
  • American Peanut Growers Group, which plans to invest $85 million to build a 135,000-square-foot processing facility in Donalsonville, GA.
  • Cheese maker Saputo, which plans to invest $60 million to build a 350,000-square-foot distribution facility in Franklin, WI.
  • Kroger, which is planning a renovation and equipment upgrades on its recently-acquired 755,000-square-foot distribution center in Monroe, OH.
  • Candy maker Albanese Confectionery Group, which plans to invest $15 million to build a warehouse and distribution facility in Merrillville, IN.
  • Poultry supplier Shepherd Family Farm, which plans to invest $15 million to build a processing plant in Townsend, MA.
  • S & W Wholesale Foods, which plans to spend $12 million to build a 100,000-square-foot distribution and office facility in Tangipahoa, LA.
  • Poultry supplier Koch Foods, which plans to build a 183,000-square-foot warehouse and processing facility in Gainesville, GA.
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