ORRVILLE, Ohio — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and JobsOhio, the state's private economic development corporation, announced that the J.M. Smucker Co. will construct an R&D facility focused on testing new product innovation and investigating opportunities to enhance manufacturing productivity on the company's Orrville campus.
"Smucker's has been part of the fabric of Ohio for more than a century," said DeWine. "From selling apple butter on a horse drawn wagon in 1897 to laying the groundwork for a new research and development facility in 2022 – we're grateful that Smucker's legacy will continue to grow in Ohio."
The 29,000-square-foot lab will support the company's Smucker's Uncrustables brand. The project, along with recently announced plans to consolidate manufacturing work elsewhere to the company's Orrville facility, will create 35 new jobs with an associated payroll of $2 million.
"Ohio is a global innovation leader due in part to companies like the J.M. Smucker Co., a staple of American ingenuity that has called Ohio home for 125 years," said J.P. Nauseef, JobsOhio president and CEO. "The new, cutting-edge R&D facility in Orrville will advance product development for Smucker while providing positive economic impact to the state."
"We are excited to support the momentum of our Uncrustables brand and our continued work to meet the unprecedented demand for the product through this new R&D facility, which we anticipate going live in the fall of 2023," said Tina Floyd, senior vice president and general manager, consumer foods, the J.M. Smucker Co. "The support of local leadership has been greatly appreciated as we have worked to coordinate plans on this new facility supporting not only one of the fastest growing brands in our portfolio but one of the fastest growing brands in the category."
The Uncrustables brand recently delivered $500 million in annual sales a year ahead of the company's projections. With completion of planned expansion at its Longmont, Colorado facility and the launch of a new facility in McCalla, Alabama, the company expects the brand to deliver $1 billion in annual sales within the next five years.
"We are grateful for the J.M. Smucker Company's commitment to Wayne County," said Team NEO Chief Executive Bill Koehler. "The addition of this innovative R&D facility demonstrates the advantage of the food industry in Northeast Ohio – a top 10 U.S. food processing location – with robust resources across the region, including a talent pool of 23,000 strong."
The funding comprises two separate programs: up to $1 million from the JobsOhio's Research and Development Center Grant and up to $1.5 million from the Ohio Department of Development's Research and Development Investment Loan Program. The R&D Center Grant provides assistance that focuses on creating an R&D center for identifying new growth opportunities. The R&D Investment Loan offers low-interest loans to companies creating research and development capabilities and high-wage jobs across the state. Prior companies to receive JobsOhio R&D funding included $5 million to Andelyn Biosciences to fund commercial-scale gene therapy manufacturing; $1.5 million to fund the development of EY-Nottingham Spirk Innovation Hub; and the development of a new R&D center for world food packaging leader Plastilene.
In addition to its Orrville campus, inclusive of its headquarters and manufacturing facility, the company owns and operates manufacturing facilities and offices across North America supporting the delivery of its leading brands in the consumer snacking, coffee and pet food and pet snacks categories.