More than two-thirds of this year’s projects — some 68% of them — are either expansions or renovations. Last year’s report noted that a majority of construction projects that year (nearly 59%) were expansions. Often, processors can add new lines and capacity to an existing plant to keep up with demand or introduce new products through an expansion project. Bob West, business development director, A M King Construction, Charlotte, NC, pointed out that most plants built during the past few decades were constructed so future expansions could be made without disrupting production.
In May, Gonnella Baking Co., Chicago IL, broke ground on a 29,000-sq-ft expansion at its Gonnella Frozen Products operation in Schaumburg, IL. As part of the project, Gonnella will restructure its business units to streamline its sales, according to Tom Marcucci, the privately held company’s vice-president, sales and marketing. As part of the restructuring, its customers will now be able to place orders for fresh and frozen products together. Currently, its frozen and fresh businesses operate as virtually two separate businesses.
The project has presented several challenges such as realigning its traffic patterns and building new docks to ensure that its products continue to be delivered, Mr. Marcucci said, but the company worked around these issues and plans to complete the project on schedule. The $7 million expansion will increase the facility’s overall freezer capacity by 50% from 3 million to 4.5 million lb.
For more information, check out our exclusive report in the September issue of Baking & Snack, or take a sneak peek in digital format.