Blue Buffalo Company (Nasdaq: BUFF) announced the construction of its new Heartland Pet Food manufacturing and R&D facility on 89 acres in Richmond, Indiana.
“We are proud to be expanding our U.S. pet food manufacturing and R&D capabilities here in Richmond, Indiana,” said Bill Bishop, chairman and founder of Blue Buffalo. “Richmond and surrounding communities have both the people and the ‘can do’ attitude that it takes to help us meet the growing demand for natural pet food products.”
Heartland Pet Food in Richmond, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Blue Buffalo Company, will produce dry dog and cat food and become the second company-owned manufacturing facility for Blue Buffalo, with the first facility located in Joplin, Missouri. The planned investment in Blue Buffalo’s Indiana location will be approximately $150 million dollars.
Construction is planned to begin in the second half of 2016 with production of BLUE natural pet food expected to begin in 2018.
“This state-of-the art R&D facility and manufacturing plant will develop high quality foods that provide the health benefits and nutritional advances most valued by clients and veterinarians,” said Victoria Carmella, DVM, director of veterinary services at Blue Buffalo. “Heartland Richmond will combine clinically-proven science with our deep experience formulating natural pet food preferred by many clients.”
State of Indiana Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb presided over the groundbreaking event at the site of the new plant and R&D facility. It is anticipated that the new Blue Buffalo facility will create approximately 165 jobs in Richmond.
“Job creators across the country continue to choose Indiana because of our low-costs, minimal regulations and highly-skilled Hoosier workforce,” Lt. Governor Holcomb said. “Our business climate has earned national recognition as companies like Blue Buffalo are choosing to grow in Indiana, contributing to the nearly 150,000 new Hoosier jobs added since 2013. We’re glad to have Blue Buffalo in Indiana and look forward to many years of continued success for our newest Hoosier company.”
Blue Buffalo will begin to hire for selected positions in the first half of 2017 and will continue throughout 2017. The new jobs will include positions in food processing, food quality assurance and general management.
“Blue Buffalo is an excellent and well-established company and we are excited to welcome them to Richmond,” said Dave Snow, mayor of Richmond. “This groundbreaking isn’t a finish line but a milestone of the success we will share in the years to come. This is all thanks to a collaborative effort of the state and local economic development corporations, Wayne County, Centerville and the Richmond City Team.”