United Premium Foods (UPF), a Woodbridge, N.J.-based co-manufacturer of both human and pet foods, announced it will invest more than $1.8 million on new systems and equipment to support customer growth through 2023 and beyond. The new technology will expand the company’s available services and capabilities to help its customers, the company said in a news release announcing the commitment.
The $1.8 million investment includes a new industrial microwave, a cryogenic freezing system, a depositing system that provides flexible packing solutions, stuffing and grinding solutions, and a high-capacity blender. All this capital will enable UPF to expand current production capacity and offer more dynamic processing options for customers — from human food, such as frozen patties, to human-grade dog food.
As also noted in a Food Processing article in the September 2023 issue, the pet care industry is rapidly growing, and UPF relays (via Nielsen data) that wet pet foods represent $11.51 billion of the total $50.2 billion pet food market in the U.S. — a 17.2% year-over-year increase. In addition, the humanization of pets supports forecasts that indicate more upward mobility for premiumization of pet foods through the better part of the next decade. UPF’s investment in this equipment shows its support for providing premium pet food production and cold storage services to its customers.