Kent Pet Group gets set for $80M expansion in Muscatine

Kent Pet Group, a subsidiary of the family-owned Kent Corporation, has announced plans for a $80 million expansion in Muscatine, Iowa. CREDIT KENT CORP.

MUSCATINE, Iowa – Kent Pet Group is “excited to grow” and is getting ready to build on its long history with this community with a groundbreaking this summer on a new $80 million manufacturing plant, company officials announced Wednesday, March 22.

In a news release, Kent Pet Group said the new facility will be a 113,000-square-foot building featuring state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment, research and development, as well as room for future growth plans. The expansion will be built on 70 acres adjacent to the Kent Distribution Center at 2905 N. Highway 61.

Kent officials did not release the cost of the expansion. However, the project represents a capital investment of a little more than $80 million, according to information from the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA). The project, IEDA said, is expected to create 28 jobs, of which 27 will have a wage of at least $22.08 per hour. 

“We are fortunate to have such a solid business looking to continuously contribute to the economic vitality of our community. Kent is one of the largest employers in Muscatine and we are thankful for their decision to grow here,” said Brad Bark, Muscatine mayor, and president and CEO of the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in a message to the QCBJ on Wednesday.

Last week, state officials announced a $150,000 forgivable loan and tax benefits for the project. The IEDA Board said the award for the Kent Pet Group is through the High Quality Jobs (HQJ) program.

“Kent is committed to value-adding agricultural-derived, sustainable, products to help meet the demands of a growing world population,” Gage Kent, chairman and CEO of Kent Corporation, said in the release announcing the expansion. “We are excited to grow our family-friendly pet offerings with this manufacturing expansion in Muscatine, Iowa.”

Kent investigated a number of options to expand in other states, ultimately deciding to site the project in Muscatine, Kent officials added.

“Muscatine is our home. We have been here for generations,” Carol Reynolds, Kent corporate spokesperson, said. “We are thrilled to build upon our history of growth and innovation right here where our roots run deep.”

Kent Pet Group, founded in 1927, is a global leader in high-performance, sustainable litter products. A subsidiary of the family-owned Kent Corporation, Kent Pet Group produces natural and sustainable cat litter under brands World’s Best Cat Litter, BreederCelect and Back-2-Nature.

The $80 million project is the latest expansion news coming from the company. Last July, FibreCycle, a subsidiary of Kent Pet Group, acquired two Australian manufacturers: Our Bird, a manufacturer of high-quality bird seed and cat litter based in Toowoomba, Queensland, and Lovitts, a manufacturer of high-quality companion animal nutrition, based in Melbourne, Victoria.

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