Pets Source, Inc., an indirect wholly owned and independently operated subsidiary of Scholar, will invest $75 million to expand its manufacturing facilities in Seward, Nebraska. The project is expected to create 80 new job opportunities.
The expansion, expected to be completed in early 2023, will triple the company’s production capacity to meet the growing demand for freeze-dried pet food. The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically increased pet ownership to 70 percent of American households, according to company officials.
“Pet owners have shown an exponentially increased desire for high-protein, raw-nutrient pet food options when feeding their new family members,” said Amy Patterson, President of Petsource. “I am delighted that Petsource and the Seward community can be part of the solution for our pet food customers who are seeking to meet the growing demand for freeze-dried pet food.”
Petsource’s $50 million Seward facility became fully operational in November 2020 and now employs just over 100 people. The expansion is a critical component of the larger strategic growth plans supporting the pet food industry, which include more than $200 million in planned capital investment, according to the company.
“The PetSource facility in Seward has been a huge success,” Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts said. “Just one year after opening, it is already planning a significant increase in capacity. This expansion will create more jobs as well as opportunities for Nebraska farmers and ranchers to supply chicken and beef as the facility’s source. Congratulations to Seward, and thanks to Scholar for choosing to grow here at The Good Life!”
Petsource is a turnkey contract manufacturer for the pet food industry, which means that it produces products to support the brand names of its pet food customers rather than its own brands. The company provides solutions for recipe development, raw meat processing, freeze drying, and packaging solutions. It is among the first steps nationwide to bring these steps together into one integrated facility.
“Betsource has been a tremendous community partner for Seward,” added Jonathan Yank, executive director and CEO of the Seward County Chamber and Development Partnership. “Their expansion will be the largest single investment for an economic development project in Seward County’s history. We are grateful for Petsource’s continued growth, which will benefit the region for years to come.”