US – Canadian dairy company Saputo and Ohio-based cheese manufacturing company Great Lakes Cheese have announced plans to invest in expanding their respective cheese manufacturing capacities to meet anticipated rise in demand for the product.

Saputo said it is investing up to US$30 million into the expansion of operations of its Saputo Dairy USA’s Las Cruces cheese manufacturing plant in New Mexico, US.

The expansion of operations will reportedly see the addition of 150 employees and is expected to have a total positive economic impact of US$1.6 billion to New Mexico over the next decade.

The state of New Mexico has committed US$2.5 million from the LEDA job creators fund and the city of Las Cruces pledged $300,000.

Commenting on the project, New Mexico Economic Development cabinet secretary, Alicia Keyes said: “Southern New Mexico is expanding its manufacturing footprint quickly. The expansion of Saputo Dairy USA’s facility will create the jobs we need to diversify our economy and get people back to work as we recover from this pandemic.”

The company has also qualified for a state Job Training Incentive Program (JTIP) Grant and the Las Cruces Wage Plus Program, an incentive programme for hiring and paying employees above the median wage.

Great Lakes Cheese breaks ground on new Texas cheese plant

Meanwhile in Texas, Great Lakes Cheese, a Ohio-based food company specializing in cheese production, has officially broken ground on a new 286,500 square-foot cheese packaging plant in Abilene, Texas.

The project which has received an investment of US$184.5 million marks an expansion to the company’s packaging operations, and joins its facilities in Ohio, New York, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin.

Located in Access Business Park, the facility is expected to provide over 500 jobs in the local Abilene area.

To support the project, Abilene’s city council has given approval for a US$33.3 million incentive package. The project is also expected to receive benefits from both a Veteran’s Fund and a Texas Enterprise Fund grant.

Misty Mayo, president and CEO of the Development Corporation of Abilene (DCOA) said: “These job opportunities are critical for the community’s future. We look forward to officially welcoming Great Lakes Cheese to its newest home in Abilene.”

Demand for cheese soars

The investments by Saputo and Great Lakes Cheese are timely as the U.S. cheese market size which was valued at US$34.3 billion in 2019, is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.25% from 2020 to 2027 to reach $45.5 billion, according to Allied Market Research.

Increase in consumption of fast food products, such as pasta, pizza, and burger, in different quick-service restaurants (QSRs) is key factor that drives the U.S. cheese market growth.

Moreover, longer shelf life of cheese, rise in disposable income of people, and surge in demand for food products rich in protein content boost the growth of U.S. cheese market.

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