Simmons Pet Food Announces $38M Facility Expansion

Today Simmons Pet Food, Inc., a leading supplier of custom and private label pet food solutions in the U.S. and Canada, broke ground on a facility expansion at its Flexible Packaging Facility in Emporia, Kansas. The $38 million investment will increase operations by 200,000 square feet and create approximately 100 new jobs in the Emporia area. The company expects to begin operations in 2019. Simmons Pet Food currently employs 500 people at its Emporia location.

“The expansion of our operations in Emporia represents a story about the strength of good people doing great work, strong performance and dependable partnerships,” said Jason Beyer, Vice President of Operations, Simmons Pet Food, Inc. in Emporia. “Emporia is the place we call home and we are proud to be part of helping this community grow through job creation.”

The Emporia Flexible Packaging Facility expansion will increase Simmons Pet Food’s capacity for flexible production and packaging for select wet pet food products. With demand for cup, tub, and pouch packaging formats projected to exceed the existing capabilities, this expansion will add substantial capacity to ensure Simmons Pet Food meets customer demand.

The expansion will increase yearly facility output to an estimated 12.4 million cases of wet pet food cups and 2.4 million cases of tubs when it reaches full capacity in 2022.

“Today’s announcement by Simmons Pet Food is great news for the economy in East Central Kansas,” said Kent Heermann, President, Regional Development Association, East Central Kansas. “This expansion will create even more skilled, well-paying jobs for the qualified workforce in the region. We are proud to have worked collaboratively with Simmons Pet Food, the City of Emporia, and the Kansas Department of Commerce on this expansion.”

The flexible packaging expansion isn’t the only construction happening at the Simmons Pet Food complex. The company is also building a Care Clinic at the location to serve local team members. It is scheduled to open in winter of 2018. The Simmons Care Clinic network offers comprehensive family care to covered team members and their dependents at no cost including preventative services, acute and general health care and treatment of chronic conditions.



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Christopher Durham

Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan).

Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s.
Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago.

Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.