Jerky maker Jack Link’s spending $450M on new Georgia plant, creating 800 jobs

Jerky maker Jack Link’s will create 800 jobs and invest $450 million as the company builds a new manufacturing facility in Georgia.

The company, which Link Snacks looked at around 30 locations. Kevin McAdams, president of North America for Jack Link’s, told WMAZ that the company ultimately chose Perry, Georgia, because of its community, pro-business environment, quality of the city’s workforce and overall culture. Perry is about 100 miles south of Atlanta.

McAdams said the company also is doubling the size of its factory in Alpena, South Dakota, and adding onto facilities in Minong, Wisconsin, and Underwood, Iowa, the AP reported. In addition to the Midwest, the Wisconsin-based Jack Link’s has facilities in New Zealand, Brazil and Germany. Parent company Link Snacks claims it is the largest manufacturer of protein snacks worldwide.

A Georgia plant would give the meat snacks giant a facility to supply parts of the south and the eastern U.S., potentially cutting down on transportation costs and improving its environmental footprint. The facility is scheduled to be operational at the end of 2023. 

The global meat snacks market is a fast-growing segment, a major reason why so many food companies have products in the space. Revenue is expected to be $14.5 billion in 2029 compared to $7.1 billion in 2019, according to Transparency Market Research.

In 2021, Jack Link’s was the top-selling meat snack brand at convenience stores — a popular channel for consumption — with sales topping $900 million, according to IRI data shared by CSP.

As consumer trends like snacking and on-the-go consumption evolve, a growing number of CPGs have announced recently they are expanding existing facilities or building new plants in preparation for future demand. 

Hostess Brands said last month it will spend up to $140 million to convert an idled factory in Arkansas into a bakery. Nestlé plans to spend $675 million on a facility in Arizona to make creamers for its Coffee mate, Coffee mate Natural Bliss and Starbucks brands.  

Mondelēz International has announced it would invest $122.5 million over three years to boost capacity at its Richmond, Virginia, location where it makes Oreos, and J.M. Smucker committed $1.1 billion to build a new manufacturing facility and distribution center in Alabama to produce its Smucker’s Uncrustables sandwich.