USA – General Mills, Inc. plans to invest US$48M in expanding its frozen dough plant in Joplin in a bid to increase the site’s manufacturing and packaging capacity to meet growing demand and product innovation from food service customers in the US.

According to Baking and Snacks, the company has revealed that the construction is “underway” and is scheduled to be completed in early 2024.

“At General Mills, we’re accelerating our business and investing to support continued growth in frozen dough,” Tim Johnson, the plant manager at the Joplin site, said.

Tim added that southwest Missouri and the Joplin community continue to partner with employers on mutually beneficial programs to drive growth in the region.

This investment, according to him, is an acknowledgment of the strong work ethic within the Joplin community, and we’re excited to expand our General Mills team.”

As part of the expansion, General Mills said it will add semi-automated processing and packaging to improve production and operational efficiencies and give the plant the ability to produce more than 1 billion pounds of frozen dough products per year once completed.

In addition, sources report that the facility will grow by more than 30,000 square feet and boost the workforce to 575 employees.

General Mills is taking advantage of state programs to access capital for the expansion, and the Missouri One Start division of the Dept. of Economic Development is also assisting the facility with recruitment and training.

The company generated net sales of $20.1bn in its 2023 financial year, up 5.7% on a year earlier.

Net sales from the company’s North American retail division were $12.6bn, a 9% increase year on year.

In May, General Mills expanded its snack factory in Geneva in a bid to bolster its snack business in the US.

According to General Mills, the new features would “provide a high level of safety and even illumination for employees and other visitors to the site while minimizing the potential for light pollution beyond site property lines.”

This was after the company reported a 19% rise in sales from its US snacks business in its fiscal third quarter, a period that ran to 26 February. It reported unspecified “market share gains” for its fruit snacks and hot snacks businesses in the US.

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