Just one year after launching operations, Petsource by Scoular plans a $75 million expansion that will triple its production capacity to meet increasing demand for freeze-dried pet food.
Petsource’s expansion of its Seward manufacturing facility is projected for completion in early 2023 and is expected to create up to 80 new jobs. Petsource is an indirect, wholly-owned and independently operated subsidiary of Scoular.
The COVID-19 pandemic has substantially increased pet ownership to a record 70 percent of U.S. households. Pet food brands are expanding their premium products for this new generation of consumers, and freeze-dried products are among the fastest-growing pet food categories. The freeze-drying process protects and maintains an ingredient’s nutrition and taste while extending its shelf life without added preservatives.
“Pet owners have shown a steadily increasing desire for high-protein, nutrient-dense, and raw nutrition pet food options when feeding their new family members,” said Petsource President Amy Patterson. “I’m thrilled that Petsource and the community of Seward can be part of the solution for our pet food customers seeking to meet the growing demand for freeze-dried pet food.”
Scoular has partnered with pet food manufacturers for decades and will continue to invest to support the marketplace’s tremendous growth. The Petsource expansion is a critical component to larger strategic growth plans supporting the pet food industry, which include over $200 million in planned capital investments over the next several years.
“This is a very dynamic time for our company and for our industry. We are excited about the opportunity to triple Petsource’s capacity to support our valuable customers’ growth plans,” said Scoular CEO Paul Maass. “I’m confident that the talented team at Petsource will continue as a trusted partner for customers in the freeze-dried pet food industry, enabling their continued growth.”
Petsource is a turnkey contract manufacturer for the pet food industry, meaning it produces products to support its pet food customers’ brand names rather than its own. The company provides recipe development, raw meat processing, freeze-drying, and packaging solutions. It is among the first nationwide to bring these steps together in one integrated facility.
“At Petsource, we are fully committed in our passion to support the pet food marketplace, developing safe and high-quality products that protect our customers’ brands,” Patterson said.
The 105,000-square-foot, $50 million facility in Seward became fully operational in November 2020. Petsource now employs just over 100 people. Hiring to accommodate the 70,000-square-foot expansion will be completed in phases starting in early 2022.
“The Petsource facility in Seward has been a big success,” said Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts. “Only a year after opening, it’s already planning a major increase in capacity. This expansion will create more jobs as well as opportunities for Nebraska farmers and ranchers to supply chicken and beef to source the facility. Congratulations to Seward, and thanks to Scoular for choosing to grow here in the Good Life!”
“Petsource has been a tremendous community partner for Seward,” added Jonathan Jank, CEO and Executive Director of the Seward County Chamber and Development Partnership. “Their expansion will be the single largest economic development project investment in the history of Seward County. We’re grateful for Petsource’s continued growth, which will benefit the area for years to come.”
The City of Seward is served electrically as a wholesale customer of Nebraska Public Power District.