"I am pleased the state is able to partner with Ocean Spray to expand their facility in Wisconsin Rapids, and create 100 jobs for hardworking Wisconsin families," Governor Jim Doyle says.
"The Ocean Spray brand is stronger than ever," says Randy Papadellis, president and CEO of Ocean Spray. "As we commemorate the expansion of the Wisconsin Rapids sweetened dried cranberry production plant, we reinforce Ocean Spray's partnership with the state of Wisconsin and our dedication to growing more cranberries and creating additional jobs in the Badger State. If we can build on this partnership and add more cranberries, there could be even more added expansion and jobs to this facility in the future ... but we need the fruit."
Ocean Spray invested $75 million, the largest capital investment the company has made in a manufacturing facility, to add two sweetened dried cranberry production lines to the Wisconsin Rapids plant. The facility incorporates some of the latest technologies in energy and environmental efficiency, bringing the total incremental investment in the facility to over $90 million during the last three years. These include a wastewater treatment facility, energy-efficient lighting, and an expansion of the system that converts methane from the Veolia Cranberry Creek Landfill into clean energy to power the plant. A fully-racked warehouse for both ingredients and finished goods allows increased storage on a smaller footprint.
Consumer demand for Ocean Spray sweetened dried cranberries continues to increase. Global demand for Ocean Spray sweetened dried cranberries has doubled over the last three years and is expected to double again over the next three. Currently, Ocean Spray sweetened dried cranberries are featured as ingredients in more than 1,000 different grocery, bakery and dairy products internationally.
The 125,000 square foot expansion houses patented state-of-the-art technology to manufacture sweetened dried cranberries for ingredient customers and for consumers under the Craisins brand. One line is up and running. When both production lines are operational by March 2009, the plant will have the capacity to produce more than 30 million pounds of sweetened dried cranberries per year for Ocean Spray.