Conagra Brands has swapped out an old vegetable processing plant for a new one in Waseca, Minn.
The new plant stands at 245,000 sq. ft. and cost $300 million. It will process frozen vegetables and other foods for the Birds Eye brand and Conagra frozen meals, replacing a 92-year-old facility, also in Waseca.
The plant will be able to process 120 million pounds of cut and cob corn, 45 million pounds of peas, and more than 20 million pounds of rice annually. This is about 20% more than the capacity of the old plant, and it will be done with 25% less water per pound of product, Conagra says.
The peas and corn processed at the new facility will come from a network of growers around Waseco. Conagra has subsidized technology for the farm fields that will signal when a crop is at peak ripeness and allow harvesting to sync with the plant’s production schedule.
"The significant investment in our new facility in Waseca is indicative of the strong opportunity we see in our frozen foods business," CEO Sean Connolly said in a statement.