The decision to acquire GL Foods, a supplier of HPP services, is in part due to its location in Coppell, Texas (southwest).
Jeff Barnard, president, Universal Pasteurization, told FoodProductionDaily.com this is the company’s third location and joins its existing services in Villa Rica, Georgia (southeast) and Lincoln, Nebraska (midwest).
He said Universal has value-added services such as cold storage, dry and wet tempering, blast freezing, and logistics but with the acquisition it will add kitting and post HPP netting and gladding.
“The acquisition is part of our strategic plan to grow the company and we felt the time was right to move into this location as Dallas is a center of food manufacturing activity as well as a prime distribution hub,” he said.
“When a good opportunity like this comes along you have to take it.”
“We wanted to have three locations so that if something happened to one of our facilities we could redirect the processing to another factory.
“Customer requirements include increased shelf life, pathogen activity or clean label products so it would be hard to do that from one plant if another one went down.”
The company, which works with Cargill and Hormel Foods, now plans to add certifications to the Texas facility such as SQF Level 3 and install AccellosOne Warehouse Management System (WMS).
“Once we get our heads around the opening we plan to meet GL Foods' customers, that came with the acquisition, and find out what their needs are,” added Barnard.
“We want feedback from them about what else we can do and what is their next strategic growth plan to help us decide where our next location is.
“We want to have a north American footprint for outsourced HPP and we are now looking at the east coast and Canada.
“We hope to have a new announcement in Q3 or Q4 this year.”
Barnard said he spent the last six months attending shows like IPPE (International Production & Processing Expo) in Atlanta and the GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) in Anaheim.
“When you walk around the shows you read and see everything about speed, higher yield and faster throughput. There is no fast way with HPP - there is larger throughput but it’s a batch process so everything stops,” he added.
“Each HPP machine costs about $2.5m. It doesn’t work with every batch. From our experience it makes sense to send it to us so that we can send the product on to its distribution centres.
“We can perform those services and pack it and ship it straight to the customer.”