MILLIVILLE — Innovation Foods is set to build a $45 million processing and packaging plant in the city, the company said Tuesday.
The plant is expected to create 40 jobs that will focus on plant-based aseptic packaging, which is a technique that extends the shelf life of beverages while using fewer additives.
The new jobs will add to Cumberland County’s civilian work force, which is composed of more than 65,000 people, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As of December, the county’s unemployment rate was 9%, which is greater than both the state and national rates.
“This will be great for the city, great for innovation,” Mayor Michael Santiago said. “Especially during these times we’re in right now with the pandemic, I’m really excited about it.”
Santiago said he hopes this new venture will attract more businesses and residents to the city.
“Manufacturing has long been part of the soul of the city of Millville, and we are proud to join that great legacy,” Nick Catalana, general manager of Innovation Foods, said in a statement. “We have a clear vision of what we want to accomplish, and we look forward to growing our businesses together.”
The expansion also will help continue the company’s partnership with Oatly, a Swedish oat milk company that opened a facility in Millville in 2018. The new facility will be located on Gorton Road and will back up to Oatly’s current facility.
“Our partnership with Oatly is at the core of our identity, and we look forward to many more years of collaboration,” Catalana said.
The new facility is part of an ongoing $110 million investment between Innovation and Oatly that began with the construction of Oatly’s facility on Orange Street three years ago.
“Innovation Foods has been a key partner for us since the very beginning of our U.S. journey,” said Mike Messersmith, Oatly’s North American president. “This next step in their growth will make our shared mission to make sustainable, plant-based options available to people all over the country all the more possible.”