PET Food Processing - December 2020 - 14

PLANT PROFILE

Top: Barrett Petfood
Innovations' new
170,000-squarefoot pet food plant
is located next to
Highway 10 in Little
Falls, Minn.
Bottom: BPI's packaging capabilities
demand flexibility
and quick packaging changeover to
accommodate the
200+ different products they produce,
package and ship.

out there because we learned from the bottom up. "
The company became profitable in 2011 and has doubled revenues every year since. Tom said the profit the
company has made during the past nine years has been
invested back into BPI with several expansions of the
original facility in Brainerd that is now 140,000 square
feet, and the new 170,000-square-foot plant in Little
Falls, Minn., which went online in July. BPI currently
employees more than 250 people, an increase of 120 in
the past year alone.
In the early days, about 70% of BPI's production was
bird and small animal food. Today, 85% of production
is premium dog food, 10% is premium cat food, 5% is
bird food, small animal food and some treats for cats
and dogs.

Maximum capacity
As business grew, BPI invested in the Brainerd facility with several expansions that improved its milling,
fresh-meat handling, drying, conveying and packaging
capabilities. That investment in Brainerd has continued
as the company just completed a mill addition that went
online in October.
Early on, BPI expanded Brainerd's fresh-meat formu-

14

PET FOOD PROCESSING | December 2020 | www.petfoodprocessing.net

lation capabilities so frozen meat blocks could be emulsified and blended in-house and then pumped to the
extruder. The Brainerd facility can process 80,000 lbs of
meat per day. A focus on high-end pet food with high
meat content became BPI's specialty, primarily because
they had the extrusion equipment that could deliver
what the market was asking for.
" We were grain-free before grain-free was cool and
high-meat before that was very popular, " Tom said.
In addition to fresh-meat formulations, farming and
milling their own ingredients also is a specialty and includes the crops Mike grows on the family farm. Current
crops coming from the Barrett farm include millet, milo,
chickpeas, peas, spelt, oats and sunflowers, which BPI
has locally cold-pressed into sunflower oil for use in its
pet foods.
The Brainerd facility can produce about 10,000 lbs per
hour of extruded products. In addition to the Wenger
TX144 extrusion system, this plant also has a Wenger
sanitary dryer, a vertical cooler from Extru-Tech, Sabetha,
a coating system from Automated Process Equipment
Corporation (APEC), Lake Odessa, Mich., dense phase
conveyance from Horizon PSI, Lawrence, Kan., and a
hammermill from Bliss Industries, Ponca City, Okla.
The company's approach to milled ingredients is another area that sets BPI apart. The company brings raw
materials in and mills it themselves. The recently finished milling addition also includes the new hammermill, all new filters, new air conveyance, an additional
APEC micro-blender, and automation controls from
NorthWind Technical Services, Sabetha. The milling
addition gives BPI a blending capacity of up to 50,000
lbs per hour, increases the company's milling capabilities
and supplies dry ingredients for both plants.
While plant expansions and improvements at the
Brainerd plant helped increase capacity, BPI couldn't
keep up with orders. By 2018, BPI was running three
shifts, did not have much capacity left and was manufacturing products for some of the fastest growing
brands in America. This made it clear to Sarah and


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PET Food Processing - December 2020

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PET Food Processing - December 2020 - 1
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http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2020_12_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2020_10_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2020_09_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2020_06_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2020_03_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_12_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_10_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_09_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_06_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_03_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_12_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_09_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_06_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_03_01
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