Huhtamaki announced plans to expand its molded fiber product manufacturing unit in the city of Hammond, Indiana, as part of its investment in Fiber Solutions. The investment, which is expected to start ramping up towards the end of 2023, will enable Huhtamaki to better serve existing and new customers in North America with a broad range of sustainable, fully recyclable and compostable, fiber-based packaging solutions, manufactured from 100% recycled North American raw material.
“The investment in this new manufacturing capacity, adjacent to our existing site in Hammond represents our strong belief in the future development of the region and in the continued success of our customers – both current and new. The expansion will introduce new sustainable fiber-based products such as egg cartons and cup carriers – manufactured on state-of-the-art machinery developed by Huhtamaki – to our portfolio in the region and drive production efficiency. Our know-how in key packaging technologies and our strong track record in sustainability make us extremely well positioned to support our customers and deliver on their sustainability agendas and goals with innovative solutions”, says Charles Héaulmé, President and CEO of Huhtamaki.
Amounting to a total investment of almost USD 100 million, the expanded facility covers circa 23,000 square meters and will be built adjacent to Huhtamaki’s existing Hammond manufacturing unit. Huhtamaki has operated in Hammond, Indiana, since 1948 and currently has approximately 140 employees. It expects to employ a further 100 new employees when fully operational.
“We have a 75-year history in the great community of Hammond. Our new investment builds on our existing technological expertise and will expand our manufacturing capacity, further leveraging the success of earlier expansions of other Huhtamaki units across North America and harnessing our global expertise in molded fiber technology. This investment will enable us to better serve our customers in the growing North American consumer goods and retail markets”, says Ann O’Hara, President, North America.
“The City of Hammond is very excited about the expansion of one of our core companies in Hammond. We worked hard with Huhtamaki’s team to keep them here and will continue to assist them as they grow into an even stronger facility. We are thrilled with their re-investment in Hammond, their growth of jobs and their continued commitment to the city”, says Mayor Thomas M. McDermott Jr.
Huhtamaki currently employs approximately 4,400 people across 18 manufacturing units in North America – 17 in the United States and 1 in Mexico – and is an industry-leading manufacturer of packaging for consumer-packaged goods, as well as tableware, cups, folding cartons, containers, carriers, trays and service ware for the foodservice industry and retail market.
Earlier this year, Huhtamaki announced that is manufacturing site in Alf, Germany is switching its focus from plastics to smooth molded fiber products to meet the growing demand for plastic free alternatives for food packaging. The Alf unit plans to replace more than 2,000 tonnes of plastic with fiber in 2022 and when fully operational, the state-of-the-art automated manufacturing site will have the capacity to manufacture up to 3.5 billion fiber products annually. This represents the first such large scale production capability in Europe.