LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 10, 2018) — Food Engineering magazine honored Kraft Heinz and Gray Construction at its annual Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference and Expo (FA&M) in Bonita Springs, Fla.
Kraft Heinz’s new factory in Davenport, Iowa, designed and built by Gray Construction, was named the magazine’s 2018 Plant of the Year.
Kraft Heinz invested more than $225 million to build its new facility in Davenport, positioned to replace an older facility some 10 miles away. Selected to perform engineering, architecture and construction services, Gray Construction built the new, highly automated 382,000-square foot plant from foundation to first production in 14 months.
“The ongoing demand from consumers for our brands made the new factory a priority,” said Michael Mullen, senior vice president of Corporate & Government Affairs for The Kraft Heinz Company.
The plant produces millions of pounds of iconic Oscar Mayer deli meat, including Deli Fresh, Deli Selects, Naturals, No Antibiotics Ever, and Lunchables products, to customers across the United States. Since the landmark merging of Kraft Foods Group and H.J. Heinz Company in 2015, the state-of-the-art meat processing and packaging facility is the first greenfield construction project for The Kraft Heinz Company.
FA&M brings food and beverage processors and suppliers together to gain valuable information on the latest trends and technologies in manufacturing, automation, sustainability and food safety. The Plant of the Year award has been known as the best example of manufacturing excellence in the food and beverage sector. Followed by a praising introduction from Food Engineering’s Editor in Chief Debra Schug who called out the automation and the impressive hygienic design elements, the award ceremony included an in-depth presentation about the new facility from both Kraft Heinz and Gray.
“The Kraft Heinz plant truly is an example of the future food factory built today,” said Schug.
Food Engineering awards the most innovative new food or beverage plant built in North America each year. Many factors are analyzed as part of the judging criteria, including the plant’s contribution to long-term business strategy, the level of innovation in processing and packaging line design, food safety elements, building and site innovations, and the productive integration of workers.