A good sign: several processors expanding plants

Candy and gum maker Perfetti Van Melle USA is expanding production at its 50,000-sq. ft. plant in Erlanger, Ohio, reports The Cincinnati Enquirer. The $3 million project will add production lines to make Airheads Extremes, Airheads Fruit and Airheads Cotton Candy Bubble Gum. The plant also produces Airheads candy. The company is closing its Buffalo Grove, Ill., plant by August and moving that production to Erlanger.

Sysco Corp. plans to open a new broadline distribution company in Alabama. The new company, to be named Sysco Food Services-Gulf Coast Inc., is expected to be operational in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2005.

Ocean Spray Ingredient Technology Group (ITG), which supplies fruit ingredients, announced that it has opened a new state-of-the-art processing plant in Middleboro, Mass. The company said the new capacity is aimed at meeting growing European demand for its sweetened dried cranberries and flavored fruit pieces. As the plant gets fully operational, Ocean Spray plans to double production capacity in the next year.

MBA Poultry is expanding due to demand for its signature air-chilled Smart Chicken, reports MeatNews.com. It will build a corporate headquarters and a processing, packaging and distribution center in Waverly, Neb., moving from Tecumseh.

Hormel Foods Corp. will invest $7 million to expand pork processing facilities at its Fremont, Neb., plant, reports the Fremont Tribune. "We see this as an opportunity to reinvest in our facility, our people and the community of Fremont," says Plant Manager Mark Coffey. "Hormel is growing, and we want to grow with it."

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