Ninth Avenue Foods, a beverage production company, announced plans to locate in Indiana, establishing its Midwest headquarters and production facility in Bartholomew County. To support its growth, the company plans to create up to 111 new jobs by the end of 2025.
"Indiana's central location, strong agriculture sector and business-friendly climate make the Hoosier State the ideal spot for dairy processors," said Governor Eric J. Holcomb. "Companies like Ninth Avenue Foods are the reason Indiana is home to a thriving, cutting-edge dairy industry, and we look forward to the company's continued growth as we work to create new careers and support Indiana farmers.”
The company, which is headquartered in southern California, will invest roughly $103 million to build and equip a 260,000-square-foot dairy and plant-based beverage manufacturing operation on Columbus' south side near the intersection of 175 W and Deaver Road. The new facility will house up to seven state-of-the-art filling lines and serve as the company's Midwest headquarters, adding to the company's West Coast operations to enable a national customer reach.
“After searching many locations in multiple states, Columbus, Indiana, was chosen as the perfect fit for our growing company,” said Ted DeGroot, Ninth Avenue Foods chief operating officer. “We wanted to expand to the Midwest, and for many reasons, Indiana and specifically Columbus, stood out. Friendly people, a growing community and high-quality workforce were all factors in our decision. We are excited to become a part of this vibrant and welcoming, family-friendly community and look forward to opportunities for expansion and growth.”
Ninth Avenue Foods will be hiring in Columbus for warehouse, production, maintenance and instrument control technicians, quality technicians and administrative positions beginning March 2022. Open positions will officially be announced on the company's website.
Ninth Avenue Foods is a family-owned company that specializes in extended shelf-life dairy and dairy alternative products. A combination of high temperature and an ultra-clean filling environment enables Ninth Avenue Foods to package dairy and nondairy products with an extended shelf-life while maintaining the nutritional benefits of the product. The new state-of-the-art facility will allow production of some products that do not require refrigeration, providing a greener alternative to conventional refrigerated storage and transportation.
“I’ve been impressed by the company’s approach to mixing family values with innovative production capabilities,” said Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop. “By leveraging Columbus, Indiana’s nationally recognized manufacturing strengths, we trust Ninth Avenue Foods will find great success here, and we are more than pleased to support their new state-of-the-art beverage facility and Midwest headquarters here.”
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) partners with industry organizations like AgriNovus Indiana, the state’s initiative dedicated to promoting and accelerating the growth of the agbiosciences community, in order to target business recruitment in high-skilled, high-growth sectors. AgriNovus works to cultivate business development needs within the agriculture sectors, helping recruit organizations like Ninth Avenue Foods to expand or locate in Indiana.
“Innovation in food and nutrition are essential to Indiana’s agbioscience economy and the broader food supply chain – especially post pandemic,” said Mitch Frazier, president and chief executive officer of AgriNovus Indiana. “Ninth Avenue Foods is an innovator that is positioned to thrive as part of Indiana’s growing $29 billion value-added food and nutrition industry.”
America’s dairy farmers are critical to agriculture, not just in Indiana but around the world. Producing a net surplus of 3.5 million pounds of milk each day, Indiana is continuing to grow its dairy industry by adding processing capacity, fostering product innovation and leveraging the Hoosier State’s unique advantage in critical infrastructure from agriculture to transportation to skilled labor through Indiana Dairy Strategy 2.0, a new strategic focus on dairy business expansion, development and attraction to our great Hoosier state.
The IEDC offered Ninth Avenue Foods up to $1.1 million in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning the company is eligible to claim incentives once Hoosiers are hired. The IEDC will also provide up to $150,000 to the local community from the Industrial Development Grant Fund to support off-site infrastructure improvements. With the support of Greater Columbus Economic Development Corporation, the city of Columbus will consider additional incentives.