As published in Toledo Business Journal - November 1, 2017

Apio facility in Bowling Green

Apio facility in Bowling Green

Apio initiates $28M BG expansion

Apio, Inc., a fresh-cut specialty vegetable and fruit processing, packaging, and distribution company, is investing approximately $28 million in a two-phase 30,000 square foot expansion project in Bowling Green.

The first phase plans to add 15,000 square feet to expand the company’s warehouse facilities, and in turn, create space for phase two in which it will expand its production space by an additional 15,000 square feet.

Construction on the project will begin this fall and occupancy will take place in early spring. The Jacobs Group from Indianapolis is currently finalizing the bid package, which will allow Apio to select a general contractor for the project.

Bill Richardville, vice president of Apio’s eastern operations, said, “Due to accelerated growth, we’ve had to expand in a number of our locations. In Bowling Green, this is phase one of a two-phase project. We will first expand our warehouse facilities in order to create the necessary space to expand our production capacity. There will be modest investment in new equipment in phase one, however, the bulk of new equipment spending will happen in phase two of the project.”

According to Richardville, the company plans to add about 150 new jobs once the project is complete. It currently employs 250 people at the Bowling Green location.

The project received approval from the Ohio Tax Credit Authority for a 10-year tax credit and must maintain operations at the project location for at least 13 years. The State support helped ensure that the project moved forward in Ohio, as Pennsylvania was also considered.

Apio facility in Bowling Green

“Apio has experienced a lot of growth in our salad kit business led by our Sweet Kale salad. We process, package, and distribute fresh cut vegetables, vegetable blends, and salad kits under the Eat Smart label. As a company, our products are in all 50 states, Mexico, and Canada and we distribute products to all channels including grocery, mass-merchandisers, club stores, food service, and home delivery,” Richardville added.

According to Apio’s website, the company also processes, packages, and distributes products under the GreenLine label. GreenLine Foods was acquired by Apio in 2012, broadening its product lines to include the GreenLine green bean products. With the acquisition came an increased ability to provide improved national distribution and improved regional presence for both brands.

Furthermore, Apio uses BreathWay and Clearly Fresh technologies for packaging. BreathWay was developed by the Landec Corporation, which acquired Apio in 1999, and has since aimed to create new packaging technologies. After some time, BreathWay membranes were created, which are designed to naturally extend the shelf life of fresh products that would benefit from reduced oxygen levels and managed carbon dioxide levels. Apio is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Landec.

The company also uses Clearly Fresh technology, which is produce storage bags designed to keep fruits and vegetables fresh-from-the-market longer.

Sue Clark, economic development director of the Bowling Green Community Development Foundation, said, “We are so pleased to have Apio’s new project in the John Quinn Innovative Tech Park. They have been a Bowling Green company for over 25 years and have continued to grow and expand their product line. This location for their new warehouse will give them easy access to I-75 and I-80/90. Apio is a great example of the strong agricultural business that exists in Bowling Green and Wood County.”

“Apio’s national-leading frozen vegetable brands are recognized in supermarkets nationwide, and growing demand for these quality products is driving today’s announcement,” added JobsOhio managing director of agribusiness and food processing Dana Saucier. “Along with the Regional Growth Partnership, we are delighted that an increased need for Apio products will be met at new and expanded facilities in Bowling Green, where more Ohioans will be on the job.”

“Our investment in Bowling Green and the greater northwest Ohio is testament to the dedication and hard work of our employees, as well as the strong partnership that has been developed with both local and State authorities,” Richardville concluded.

 

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