Kraft Foods plans to invest $10 million to expand its 1-million-square-foot manufacturing facility in Dover, announced Delaware Economic Development Office Director Alan Levin. The expansion will create 29 new, full-time jobs by March 31, 2013.
The announcement follows a recommendation by a volunteer advisory board, the Council on Development Finance, to approve the company’s request for a $456,000 grant from the Delaware Strategic Fund. The state’s investment will support the acquisition of new manufacturing and packaging equipment to increase production of Kool-Aid, the company’s powdered soft drink product. Its production will be relocated from a plant in Ecatepec, Mexico. The investment will also help create new jobs at the Dover site.
“Kraft’s decision to expand in Dover shows its strong support for the quality of our workforce in the state of Delaware,” said Director Levin. “We are proud to have one of the world’s largest and best known food and beverage companies among our employers in Kent County. We look forward to the company’s continued growth at this facility.”
Last year, Kraft announced plans to split into two publicly traded companies: Kraft Foods Group Inc. and Mondelez International Inc., a new company encompassing Kraft’s global snacks business. The transaction is expected to be completed before the end of 2012. The Dover facility will be part of the North American Grocery Company, which will retain the Kraft Foods name.
Located on 1250 W. North Street, the Dover facility first opened in 1964. The 117-acre Kraft site today employs approximately 535 employees, ranking Kraft as largest manufacturing firm in Kent County.
Kraft currently manufactures various food and beverage products such as Stove Top stuffing mix, Jell-O desserts, Dream Whip whipped topping mix, and Kool-Aid, Country Time, Crystal Light soft drink mixes at the site. The planned expansion represents the second time in four years the company has added a product line at the site.
“It is important that we work closely with the businesses that already have a presence in Delaware to help them expand their facilities, which will provide more job opportunities for our citizens,” said city of Dover Mayor Carleton Carey. “Kraft Foods is a business that employs hundreds of people in Dover and the state, and makes a meaningful contribution to our community.”
The new jobs will be mostly machine operators and maintenance technicians for package processing lines. Hiring and training for the positions will begin by the end of the year.
About the Delaware Economic Development Office
DEDO is an executive state agency responsible for attracting new investors and businesses to the state, promoting the expansion of existing industry, assisting small and minority-owned businesses, promoting and developing tourism and creating new and improved employment opportunities for all citizens of the State. Visit www.dedo.delaware.gov. Follow us onTwitter.