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Food processing center, cold storage facility to open in Kansas City

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West Liberty Foods and Vertical Cold Storage building facility to produce grab-and-go sandwiches.

West Liberty Foods, a leading protein processor, announced this week that it will open a food processing center in Kansas City, attached to supporting cold storage facility to be developed by Vertical Cold Storage. The companies are expected to invest a combined $199.6 million and create 583 jobs.

The food processing center and cold storage facility, a combined 327,000 sq. ft., will be directly connected and support the production of grab-and-go sandwiches. The facilities will be located at the I-49 Industrial Center within the 49 Crossing industrial zone.

"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to expand our signature protein offerings with our new premade grab-and-go sandwich program," said Brandon Achen, chief executive officer of West Liberty Foods. "Based on its proximity to key stakeholders for the project, Kansas City is the ideal location to house our newest technology, and we look forward to the growth this area has to offer."

West Liberty Foods ranks as one of North America’s top 50 protein processors, producing nearly 650 million pounds of food product each year for grocery stores and restaurants across the United States. Headquartered in Iowa, with additional production facilities in Utah and Illinois, the new Kansas City facility represents the company’s first expansion into Missouri.

The accompanying cold storage space will be operated by Vertical Cold Storage, which provides comprehensive cold storage services for frozen and refrigerated foods. It will be the company’s sixth location nationwide.

“Missouri is home to nearly 400 food companies, and we are excited to welcome West Liberty Foods and Vertical Cold Storage to our state’s robust food and agricultural network,” said Missouri Gov. Mike Parson. “When a company selects Missouri for a new facility, we understand it’s a major decision, and we are committed to their success in our state. We are looking forward to watching these two companies grow right here in Missouri.”

Kansas City’s location has contributed to the continued attraction of food and beverage companies to the region, which ranks No. 8 among the top 50 food manufacturing markets in the U.S. for three-year job growth.

“More than 675 industrial food and beverage companies call the KC region home, thanks to our proximity to key agriculture markets, advanced logistics infrastructure and strong industry-specific talent pipeline,” said Chris Gutierrez, president of KC SmartPort, an affiliate of the Kansas City Area Development Council. “With nearly 27,000 people employed in the food and beverage industry and a robust network of industrial assets, Kansas City can support leading companies like West Liberty Foods and Vertical Cold Storage with the resources they need to thrive.”

In the last two years, the Kansas City region has attracted food and beverage companies pledging to create more than 1,800 jobs, invest over $486 million and occupy nearly 4.2 million square feet.

TAGS: Business
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