Fresh vegetables and citrus grower Duda Farm Fresh Foods is expanding its Oxnard, Calif., cooling and fresh-cut facility to better meet the increased demand for celery from foodservice, retailers and consumers.
Scheduled for completion this fall, the expansion will help Oviedo, Fla.-based Duda meet growing celery stick demand, which has increased 18% in the past year. The site expansion provides the brand with a footprint for continued growth over the years and enhanced customer service with higher volume efficiencies.
“With the strong growth in the celery snacking segment, we saw an opportunity to get ahead of demand and amplify our capabilities,” President Dan Duda said. “The expansion of the Oxnard facility allows us to not only continue preparing for tomorrow, but also to grow the Duda family legacy and ultimately the next generation of celery growers.”
The facility site is just under 5.5 acres and is a 35% increase in square footage.
The $5 million expansion will allow Duda to double its current output of fresh-cut product and increase jobs by 17%.
Once the facility is complete, Duda will be able to provide retailers and consumers a greater supply of celery during peak consumption times.