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Mead Johnson plans $67.7 million project in Zeeland; Hudsonville Ice Cream to expand COURTESY PHOTO

Mead Johnson plans $67.7 million project in Zeeland; Hudsonville Ice Cream to expand

BY MiBiz Staff Thursday, July 18, 2019 05:11pm

Mead Johnson & Co. LLC, a manufacturer of infant formula, plans to invest $67.7 million to expand its processing plant in Zeeland. 

The company’s expansion will include building renovations to add a new employee entrance and the installation of new machinery and equipment that will enable the facility to become the global supply and technical center for hypoallergenic infant formulas.

Founded by one of the co-founders of Johnson & Johnson, Mead Johnson has been an anchor employer in the City of Zeeland since 1924.  

The city is “excited” to support the continued growth of the company, Zeeland City Manager Tim Klunder said in a statement. 

“The fact that they have, and will expand upon, a strong manufacturing presence in the city is a great sense of pride for us,” he said.

The Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development is supporting the project with a $175,000 grant.

The company, which is based in greater Chicago, Ill., had net sales of $3.7 billion in 2016, the most recent year the company released public data. Half of its baby food sales came from Asia.

Mead Johnson stopped publicly trading its shares in 2017 when British consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser Group plc acquired the operations for $16.6 billion.

The Mead Johnson project as another longtime food processing plant on the lakeshore received state backing for an expansion plan. 

Holland-based Hudsonville Ice Cream is investing $863,300 to add new machinery and equipment. The state is supporting the project with a performance-based $60,000 grant, according to a statement from Lakeshore Advantage Corp., the economic development agency for Ottawa County.

“The growth of these two important manufacturers solidifies our region as a great place for food processors to locate and grow,” Lakeshore Advantage President Jennifer Owens said in a statement. 

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