s authentic as Texas BBQ, the Lone Star State takes its food and beverage industry seriously. This is good news as national consumer demand for food products increases following the pandemic. Texas’s famously pro-business policies and lack of stifling regulations allow employers to plant their roots deep among the Bluebells.
In Plano, PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay is investing $200 million at its Rosenberg site, where it has operated since the 1980s. The investment will add two manufacturing lines for Funyuns and tortilla chips and increase capacity in its warehouse to enhance capabilities and enable future growth. This is the second investment Frito-Lay has made since 2019 to the Rosenberg site when the company announced a $138 million investment that added a new Cheetos line, new seasoning and packaging equipment and a warehouse expansion, set to be complete late 2021.
The expansion is expected to be complete by 2023 and will provide 160 new, full-time jobs. Today, the Frito-Lay Rosenberg facility employs more than 750 full-time plant and fleet associates and produces more than 117 million pounds of snacks annually.
“We’ve called Rosenberg home for nearly 40 years. Throughout that time, the support of Fort Bend County has helped us invest in the right areas so that we can continue to grow and provide jobs to the community,” said Laura Maxwell, senior vice president of the supply chain, PepsiCo Foods North America. “The Rosenberg site has the largest footprint of any Frito-Lay facility in Texas, producing snacks for Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas and Georgia, and several other parts of the country when we hit times of peak demand. We thank Fort Bend County for bringing investments like this to life.”
This kind of longevity speaks volumes about the potential for food and beverage industries to grow and adapt to increasing product demands. Texas has the space, workforce and incentives to help bring these projects to life.
Consider the case of Denver-based Leprino Foods Company. The global dairy foods manufacturer selected Lubbock as the site of its new, state-of-the-art 850,000-sq.-ft. dairy manufacturing facility. Construction of the new facility is expected to begin in June 2022 and will be completed in two phases by early 2026.
The new Lubbock site represents an $870 million capital investment and is expected to employ approximately 600 full-time personnel when it is fully operational. The facility will produce mozzarella cheese and dairy ingredients, supplying some of the world’s leading food companies to help meet consumer demand for cheese and whey products both domestically and internationally.
The new facility will be one of Leprino Foods’ most sustainable plants and will be constructed with special features that will help decrease GHG footprint and water footprint, such as capturing heat from equipment like pasteurizers and using it elsewhere to reduce fuel consumption; advanced LED lighting and sensors; smart controllers on refrigeration systems to reduce electrical load; and water capture and reuse throughout the facility.
“We are excited for the opportunities that the Lubbock region provides, as well as bringing people, processes, and technology together at a new, state-of-the-art facility,” Mike Durkin, president of Leprino Foods Company, said. “Furthermore, this new plant will play a critical role in the dairy industry in Texas and will have a substantial regional impact for local dairy farmers across the South Plains to fulfill daily production needs. As we prepare to break ground and hire local talent, we are eager to contribute as a corporate partner to the Lubbock community,” Durkin added.
Lubbock City Mayor Dan Pope mirrored that sentiment at the time of the project’s announcement.
“I have gotten to know the Leprino Foods Family over the last two years,” said Pope. “Leprino will be a great corporate partner. This project will create tremendous opportunities for our citizens, and it further demonstrates the strength of our economy. We are thrilled to welcome Leprino Foods to Lubbock. It’s a great day in Lubbock, Texas.”
“From the beginning of this courtship, it was evident Leprino Foods shared the same values of West Texas and our commitment to our people and to agriculture,” said John Osborne, president and CEO of LEDA. “In addition to LEDA’s many private partners, this project was especially made possible by the combined efforts of the City of Lubbock, Lubbock County, the State of Texas, Roosevelt ISD and Texas Tech University.”
Savannah King is managing editor of custom content for Conway Inc. She is an award-winning journalist and previously wrote for The Times in Gainesville, Ga. She graduated from the University of West Florida with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and lives near Atlanta.