Heartland Food Products Group, a producer and marketer of low calorie sweeteners, drink mixes, coffee and nutritional beverages, will expand its operations in Indianapolis, creating up to 187 new jobs by 2020.
Heartland will invest approximately $26 million to increase production capacity at its Indianapolis facility. In August, the Carmel-headquartered company announced plans to acquire the Splenda® low calorie sweetener brand from McNeil Nutritionals LLC, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. Work on the expansion is expected to begin during the first quarter of 2016.
“Acquiring the Splenda® brand business not only fits well within our strategy to offer the very best tasting products to sweeten foods and beverages without adding calories, but the acquisition also creates new jobs and career opportunities supporting economic growth within our community,” said Ted Gelov, chairman and chief executive officer at Heartland.
The company, which also has production and distribution operations in the Netherlands, currently employs 450 associates in Indiana. Last year, Heartland announced plans to create up to 160 new jobs by the end of 2017, and is exceeding its goals as the company anticipates meeting the prior job commitment next year. This expansion, in addition to the company’s originally-planned 160 new jobs, will create jobs across Heartland’s Indianapolis manufacturing plant, distribution center and Carmel corporate office.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) offered Heartland up to $1,750,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $150,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. These incentives are performance-based, meaning until employees are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The city of Carmel supports the project and the city of Indianapolis will consider additional incentives at the request of Develop Indy, a business unit of the Indy Chamber.
“Indiana is home to the highest concentration of manufacturing jobs in the country,” said Governor Mike Pence. “Every day, Hoosiers are making products – from cars and trucks to sweeteners and coffees – that are used around the world. Thanks to our state’s pro-growth economic climate and skilled workforce, companies like Heartland continue to choose Indiana for job creation because we are a state that works for business.”
At 4.4 percent, Indiana’s unemployment rate has dropped to a 14-year low while the Hoosier State has added more than 54,100 private sector jobs in the past year, including 12,000 manufacturing jobs. Indiana continues to have the highest concentration of private sector manufacturing jobs in the country.
“Today’s news is certainly sweet for one of the world’s top producers of sweeteners, but it’s also good for Carmel, where Heartland Food Products Group is headquartered and has become one of our rising stars in our growing list of corporate headquarters,” said Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard. “We congratulate Heartland and look forward to watching them continue to grow in the future.”