US: Unilever to expand ice cream plant in Tennessee
By Dean Best | 23 September 2013
Unilever has shaken up US ice cream production in recent years
Unilever is to expand an ice cream plant in the US, a move that will create over 400 jobs.
The Breyers ice cream owner is to spend over US$108m on extending its site in Covington in Tennessee. The plans include an 11,000 sq ft "engine room expansion". Some 428 jobs will be created, Unilever said.
"Investing in sustainable manufacturing is an important part of Unilever’s strategy of investing back for growth in America," Kees Kruythoff, president of Unilever's North American operations, said. "Through the expansion and upgrade in Covington we are creating a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, enabling Unilever to sustainably and responsibly grow our US ice cream business."
Unilever added ice cream to the lines it produced at the Covington site four years ago. The plant had been producing Slim-Fast products. That move came after Unilever announced it was to close two ice cream plants in Maryland and Massachusetts.
lobal Consumer Goods Giant to Invest $108.7 Million, Add 428 New Jobs
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty along with Unilever officials announced today the company will expand operations at its Covington facility. Plans include facility and site improvements for an 11,000 square foot engine room expansion and a 90,000 square foot parking lot expansion resulting in an investment of $108.7 million and the addition of 428 new full-time positions over a four-year period. Upon completion of the project, Unilever expects to have a workforce of nearly 1,000 employees in Covington.
“I want to congratulate Unilever on this significant announcement and thank the company for its continued investment in Covington and Tipton County,” Haslam said. “Part of our Jobs4TN strategy focuses on expanding companies already conducting business in the state, and today’s expansion announcement is another step toward our goal of making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”
“Unilever has played a key role in the corporate landscape of West Tennessee for more than a decade, and I am pleased with the company’s plans to expand in Covington,” Hagerty said. “In addition to our ideal location and unbeatable transportation infrastructure, Tennessee boasts the best balance sheet in the nation, which is tremendous when international companies, like Unilever, seek to locate or expand in our state. I appreciate Unilever’s decision to continue to invest in Tennessee and its quality workforce.”
Unilever’s expansion of its Covington facility optimizes the positive economic, environmental and social benefits of the facility’s location to sustainably produce ice cream and frozen novelty items.
“Investing in sustainable manufacturing is an important part of Unilever’s strategy of investing back for growth in America,” Kees Kruythoff, president of Unilever North America, said. “Through the expansion and upgrade in Covington we are creating a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, enabling Unilever to sustainably and responsibly grow our U.S. ice cream business. We are excited about what this investment means for both the local community and for Unilever.”
Unilever’s Covington facility, located at 2000 Hwy. 51 N., specializes in the production of ice cream and frozen novelty items for brands such as Breyers, Fruttare, Good Humor, Klondike and Popsicle. In addition to facility and parking lot improvements, the expansion will allow increased production capacity of the existing company-owned ice cream novelty and frozen dessert factory and the purchase of new machinery and equipment for additional production lines.
“I am extremely pleased that Unilever has chosen to further expand operations in Covington. The additional jobs will result in an economic boost for the area and more specifically for the individuals that fill the new positions,” Covington City Mayor David Gordon said. “I look forward to many years of mutual success for Unilever and the city of Covington.”
“Unilever’s latest investment in the state of Tennessee continues to provide further evidence of their confidence in the strong business environment of Tipton County and the city of Covington,” Tipton County Executive Jeff Huffman said. “We value the outstanding partnership with the local community now and into the future.”
“TVA and Covington Electric System are pleased to be a partner on the economic development team with the state of Tennessee, city of Covington, Tipton County and HTL Advantage to help facilitate Unilever’s major expansion that brings jobs and prosperity to Covington and the West Tennessee area,” TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley said.
Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of food, refreshments, home and personal care products with sales in over 190 countries. Unilever was recognized by Fortune magazine as one of the “Top 50 World’s Most Admired Companies” and is ranked in the Fortune Global 500.
Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of food, home and personal care products. Our products are present in 7 out of 10 homes globally and are used by over 2 billion people on a daily basis. In the United States the portfolio includes brand icons such as: Axe, Ben & Jerry’s, Bertolli, Breyers, Caress, Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy, Consort For Men, Country Crock, Degree, Dove personal care products, Good Humor, Hellmann’s, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!, Just for Me!, Klondike, Knorr, Lever 2000, Lipton, Magnum, Motions, Nexxus, Noxzema, Pond’s, Popsicle, Promise, Q-tips, Ragú, Simple, Slim-Fast, Soft & Beautiful, St. Ives, Suave, tcb, TIGI, TRESemmé, Vaseline, and Wish-Bone. All of the preceding brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies.
Unilever employs more than 10,000 people in the United States – generating over $9 billion in sales in 2012. For more information, visitwww.unileverusa.com.
About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies which help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. The department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Find us on the web: tn.gov/ecd. Follow us on Twitter: @tnecd. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/tnecd.
Original source: Tennessee state government
Sectors: Ice cream
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