It seems stay-at-home orders across the U.S., in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, have had a significant impact on people’s eating habits — and the food production industry. With more people eating meals at home, food producers have seen increased demand for their products, spurring several expansions at food processing facilities across the U.S.
One of the world’s largest meal kit companies, Berlin-based HelloFresh, is opening a new state-of-the-art facility in Irving to meet rapidly increasing demand for their products. In August, the company leased a new production and distribution facility to increase overall production capacity by more than 30%. The nearly 375,000 sq. ft. distribution center — HelloFresh’s largest facility to date — will include office space, cold storage, packing and shipping areas, and could provide as many as 1,200 new jobs for the area as HelloFresh expands its presence to continue supporting rapidly growing demand and new customer growth in the South and Midwest regions of the U.S
Alongside its current facility in Grand Prairie, this new distribution center augments HelloFresh’s existing production and shipping capabilities in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. By being co-located with its other
facility in the same market, HelloFresh is leveraging operational efficiencies while tapping into existing supplier relationships and a strong workforce.
“These latest centers support our investment in long-term growth as we execute on our strategy to continue expanding our total addressable market through fresh geographies, new customer segments and various demographics,” said Uwe Voss, CEO of HelloFresh U.S. “To achieve this, we are expanding supply chain capacity and actively iterating on our menu to satisfy new and existing customers, expanding recipe selection, adding more convenient offerings and increasing meal customization options to maintain our long-term growth momentum.”
Breakfast Facility Expands in Hometown
Arkansas-based Tyson Foods, Inc. is investing $26 million to expand production at its Wright® Brands Bacon facility in Vernon to satisfy current demand and allow room for additional growth. The bacon brand has had a home in Vernon since 1922. The expansion is expected to create 32 new jobs that will bring total employment to more than 800.
The bacon category has seen increased volume in retail growth, up 18% since 2017, as new people enter the market and existing buyers consuming more bacon, most recently due to increased at-home meals. Surpassing category growth during this period, Wright Brand has increased volume by 29% as more buyers are introduced to the brand.
“We’re pleased we can continue to build on the proud heritage of this iconic and delicious brand,” said Noelle O’Mara, group president of Prepared Foods for Tyson Foods, Inc. “More importantly, we’ve had a strong presence in Vernon for nearly 100 years as one of the largest employers. It’s an honor to continue that long history by adding new jobs in the local community.”
Tyson Foods and its family of companies operate 10 food processing plants in Texas, employing more than 12,000 team members and paying more than $480 million in annual wages as of the most recently completed fiscal year. The company also contracts with more than 230 poultry growers and more than 90 cattle suppliers in the state. It’s estimated Tyson Foods’ operations have a total annual impact of nearly $3 billion in Texas.
Goya Grows in Texas
In October, the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the U.S., Goya Foods, announced a new $80 million expansion of its manufacturing and distribution facility in Brookshire. The expansion will double production capacity to meet increased consumer demand.
Goya’s Texas facility sits on a 130-acre farm has served as the prime hub for the manufacturing and distribution of Goya products in the West and provides key access to a skilled workforce, a favorable business climate, railroad transportation, and a launching pad for global export.
“Goya is committed to meeting increased consumer demand for our products from all consumers across the United States and abroad. We are grateful for the overwhelming support of the Goya brand, and we are fortunate to be able to give back to communities around the globe donating millions of pounds of food through our Goya Gives program,” said Bob Unanue, President and CEO of Goya Foods.