Canadian food products manufacturer Maple Leaf Foods said Monday that its subsidiary, Greenleaf Foods SPC, is acquiring and renovating a food processing plant in Indianapolis, IN to expand production of Lightlife tempeh plant protein products.
The project was initiated in response to increased demand for the company’s Lightlife tempeh products. Maple Leaf Foods said expects to close on the purchase of the 118,000-sq-ft facility this April and commence installation of production equipment. The new assets will have an initial capacity of 4.5 million kg.
“Maple Leaf Foods has been successful in executing a multi-tiered strategy focused on capital efficiency. To date, we have found ways to leverage the capacity of our existing plant protein manufacturing assets, while successfully utilizing footprint in the rest of our network,” Michael McCain, president and chief executive officer of the food company said in a release. “At this juncture, given the high demand for our tempeh products, this project offers us the ability to deliver incremental capacity in a cost-effective, timely manner in a location that has synergies with our long-term vision.”
About $100 million will be invested in the new facility and production assets. Operations are expected to begin at the Indianapolis site in the first half of 2022. 115 people will be hired to staff the plant when it first opens. A second expansion phase could be initiated at the facility if demand for tempeh keeps up, Maple Leaf Foods said.
The company revealed plans in 2019 to build a facility for plant-based protein products in Shelbyville, IN, but that project was delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and other issues.
A recent forecast by MarketsandMarkets posits that the global plant-based protein market will grow from an estimated value of $10.3 billion in 2020 to $14.5 billion in 2025, growing at a CAGR of 7.1% during the period.