A $310 million investment will create North America’s largest plant-based food facility in Shelbyville. The planned facility is slated to become operational in late 2020 and could create more than 400 jobs. Greenleaf Foods, SPC, a subsidiary of Canada-based Maple Leaf Foods Inc., will construct and equip a 230,000-square-foot facility on 57 acres in Shelbyville. Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler told Hoosier Ag Today that Greenleaf recently acquired the top two brands in the refrigerated alternative protein category. One is located in the Seattle, Washington area and one is in Massachusetts.
“What’s really kind of interesting about this is that it’s plant-based proteins, but it is refrigerated types of foods. So, that that brings a little different dynamic. What they were really looking to do, because they’re on the east coast and west coast, was looking to be more centrally located and grow and expand. So, this facility will actually be, as you mentioned, the largest in North America and will actually produce foods for both of those other companies, or brands, that are under Greenleaf Foods.”
Kettler says they don’t have a ton of details at this point about what impact this might have for Indiana farmers.
“We do know there will be some soy-based, so they will need some soybeans. We know that there will be some wheat that will be needed. Then when we look at other proteins, again not a lot of detail, but we know that there are there might be things like peas, lentils, and some of those kinds of items. One of the things that I know they do use is quinoa, so we’ll have to figure things out and we are going to be involved in providing information of farmers and people that can supply those raw ingredients that go into this facility.”
Fresh refrigerated products represent approximately 24 percent of the total market and delivered 40 percent sales growth in 2018. While burgers are fueling category growth, all refrigerated products are forecasted to deliver double-digit growth for the next 20 years.