ASHEBORO, N.C. — A little more than a year after grand opening ceremonies at its production facility in Asheboro, Minneapolis-based Malt-O-Meal Co. on Nov. 18 said it will undertake a $136 million expansion of the facility. The expansion is expected to begin in 2011 and be completed in 2012. It will include the addition of more than 200,000 square feet of production space, two additional production lines and the construction of an on-site, 80,000-square-foot warehouse.

Chris Neugent, president and chief executive officer of Malt-O-Meal, attributed the reason for the expansion to the growing demand for Malt-O-Meal’s product line, particularly for its recently launched Better Oats line of instant oatmeal products. Introduced in early 2010, Better Oats is the first significant new entry in the instant oatmeal category in many years and has been among the company’s most successful product introductions, he said.

The facility currently employs approximately 200 employees in various production, managerial and support capacities. The planned expansion will create an additional 80 jobs at the facility by 2015.

“Malt-O-Meal has been a good corporate citizen in Randolph county, and we’re pleased that they looked here for their expansion needs,” said Bonnie Renfro, president of the Randolph County Economic Development Corp. “In just over a year, the company has become the single largest taxpayer in the county and has become one of our largest employers. They’ve more than met their prior commitments for job creation and have helped us boost our employment rate over the last year.”

In addition to North Carolina, Malt-O-Meal operates production facilities in Minnesota, Utah and Iowa. It is the only U.S. cereal manufacturer capable of producing all four leading ready-to-eat cereal types: flaked, sheeted, gun puffed, and shredded. Malt-O-Meal also operates distribution centers in Minnesota, Missouri, Utah, Tennessee and Pennsylvania.