ICL, a global specialty-minerals company, has opened its latest production facility in St. Louis. The company’s new alternative-protein facility will produce a plant-based meat substitute for use by food companies, food-service distributors, restaurants and grocery chains. The significant investment represents an expansion of ICL’s global Food Specialties portfolio and the company’s focus on developing healthier and more sustainable food products.
The new 10,000-square-foot facility was constructed on ICL’s 19-acre production campus in St. Louis. At full capacity the plant is expected to produce more than 15 million pounds of product each year.
“This new facility will help meet the growing demand for innovative plant-based foods and meat alternatives – especially ones that deliver an eating experience similar to that of conventional meat products,” said Chris Millington, EVP of Food and Phosphate Specialty Products for ICL. “Food manufacturers are looking for meatless options that will offer sustainable, functional and nutritional value in the meat-alternative category, and we’re proud to provide them with a solution.”
The new ICL facility will transform plant protein into fibers that have a meat-like texture and can be used in a wide variety of food applications to replace meat, poultry or seafood. The fibers are notable for their clean flavor, natural texture and formulation versatility. The resulting finished product is all-vegan, allergen-free, kosher- and halal-certified, and non-GMO.
“From health issues to environmental and sustainability concerns, there are many reasons for the trending movement toward more sustainable lifestyle and diet choices,” said Paul Petersen, global alternative proteins leader for ICL Food Specialties. “Our team at ICL Food Specialties is committed to keeping up with these trends and innovating in areas beyond traditional meat alternatives.”
ICL’s Food Specialties business brings more than 75 years of experience to the food industry. The company, which is headquartered in Tel Aviv, has offices and facilities across the St. Louis region and around the globe. ICL employs nearly 800 people in the U.S., more than 300 of whom work in St. Louis at the company’s corporate offices in Creve Coeur, Missouri; the research and innovation hub in Webster Groves, Missouri; and the production campus in Carondelet, Missouri. With the opening of the new alternative-protein plant, ICL has reaffirmed its long-term commitment to St. Louis as its U.S. headquarters.
“This is an exceptional investment in our region’s growing food and agtech sector and it highlights our increasing strength innovating to shape the future of the industry, including plant-based proteins,” said Jason Hall, CEO of Greater St. Louis, Inc. “With this investment and expansion in St. Louis from a global firm, ICL is demonstrating continued confidence in the St. Louis metro and showing why we are the strategic location of choice for innovators defining the next chapter of food and agriculture.”