EMPORIA, Kan. (KSNW) — Simmons Pet Food is expanding across Kansas, investing $115 million and creating 117 jobs.

Simmons is the leading private-label and contract manufacturer of wet pet food in North America. 

In Edgerton, a 750,000-square-foot distribution hub is going to be built.

“Edgerton is an ideal location for new warehouse capacity and automated packaging operations to streamline distribution of our product to our customers throughout the U.S.,” said Chad Morris, Senior Vice President of Supply Chain at Simmons.

In Emporia, a fourth high-speed canning line will be added to the company’s already existing facility there. It has been in operation since 1998, starting with one line. Now, the operation includes a flex plant, producing pet food in pouches, cups and tubs, in addition to the canned pet food plant. Since opening, the combined operation has grown to employ more than 1,500 team members.

“The fourth line in Emporia will be capable of producing 60,000 pounds per hour and will expand the total annual plant output to more than 70 million cases (1.6 billion units) by early 2024,” said Scott Salmon, President of Simmons Pet Food.

Both projects are part of the company’s $500 million strategic growth plan and will enable Simmons to better meet the growing demand for multi- and variety-packed pet food products.

“Simmons’ decision to expand their already significant operations and hire 177 more Kansas workers is good for Emporia, Edgerton, and the entire state,” said Kelly. “More and more businesses are choosing to grow here in Kansas — showing that our work to make Kansas the most pro-business state in the country is paying off.”