Home National dairy, nondairy product company expanding operation in Frederick County
Economy, Virginia

National dairy, nondairy product company expanding operation in Frederick County

Chris Graham
virginia economy
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Virginia isn’t getting a bad deal at all on the state’s participation in the expansion of a dairy processing operation in Frederick County.

The state is committing a $50,000 infrastructure grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund, which Frederick County will match with local funds, to go toward the $83.5 million expansion by HP Hood.

This is a much better deal for state taxpayers than the $2 billion deal that Gov. Glenn Youngkin had wanted us to do with billionaire sports guy Ted Leonsis, $1.6 billion of which would have come from state and local funds.

“I commend HP Hood for their continued investment in Frederick County and in Virginia’s dairy industry, the state’s fourth largest sector in the agriculture industry. Supporting companies like HP Hood is vitally important to Virginia’s dairy producers and spurs economic development in this area of the Commonwealth,” Youngkin said in a statement pumped out by his press office on Tuesday.

The expansion project includes upgrades to production and packaging equipment and construction of additional cooler and warehouse space at HP Hood’s Winchester facility, which opened in 2000 and employs more than 600 people.

The project will enable HP Hood to build its business while continuing to provide a local market for Virginia dairy farms through its milk cooperative network, which includes the Dairy Farmers of America and the Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association.

The Winchester operation processes extended-shelf-life fluid milk and nondairy products for Hood’s own brands, private label partners, licensed brands and co-packing partners.

“We proudly selected this location to build a greenfield plant more than 24 years ago and have been grateful for the ongoing support of Frederick County and the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Gary Kaneb, president and CEO of HP Hood, a nationally branded dairy processor with more than 3,000 employees and annual sales revenues of approximately $3.5 billion.

The company’s broad portfolio of retail consumer product brands include Hood, Heluva Good!, Lactaid, Blue Diamond Almond Breeze and Planet Oat. In addition to selling its products through traditional retail and wholesale channels, the company also manufactures private-label products and provides co-packing services.

“This expansion enables us to continue to grow Hood’s business and accommodate the everchanging needs of our customers and continue to provide a market for local dairy farms through our local milk cooperative network,” Kaneb said.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].