Carnivore Meat Company Breaks Ground on Largest Freeze-Dried Pet Food Manufacturing Facility in North America

Increased capacity to support Vital Essentials® brand growth

GREEN BAY, Wis. (Aug. 9, 2022) – Carnivore Meat Company (“Carnivore”), an ultra-premium branded freeze-dried and frozen raw pet food manufacturer, in partnership with Arbor Investments (“Arbor”), broke ground Monday afternoon on a new 235,000-square-foot headquarters and manufacturing facility in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

The new 28-acre campus will become Carnivore’s Global Headquarters and provide a showcase for the company’s flagship ultra-premium brand, Vital Essentials®. Production at the greenfield facility is expected to commence by the end of 2023.

Carnivore Meat Company celebrates with partners and breaks ground on a new manufacturing facility. Pictured left to right: Kurt Schuh, Vice President, Schuh Construction; Karl “Pudge” Schuh, Vice President, Schuh Construction; Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich; Neil Stechschulte, Development Director, City of Green Bay; Brett Simmons, Director of Operations, Carnivore; Nathan McBrayer, CFO, Carnivore; Lanny Viegut, CEO, Carnivore; Brian Lakari, VP of Operations, Carnivore; Carl Allegretti, President, Arbor Investments; Alison Miller, Partner and Chief Marketing Officer, Arbor Investments; Jim Durkin, SVP – Operations & Supply Chain, Arbor Investments; Scott Farmer, Vice President, Arbor Investments.

Carnivore CEO and Founder Lanny Viegut coined the phrase ‘Building a VITAL Future’ when describing the transformative project. “We are seeing exponential growth in demand for our Vital Essentials® brand and started planning for this facility a little over a year ago,” stated Viegut. “With the help of Arbor, the groundbreaking of this new facility marks an exciting next chapter for Carnivore as we ensure we have the cutting edge technology and capacity we need to satisfy the desire for our branded products around the globe.”

Carnivore, founded by Viegut in 2012, employs more than 200 people today in four locations throughout the greater Green Bay area with plans to add 150 new jobs over the next five years, including automation specialists, engineers and more. The new campus will include a 27,000-square-foot office space designed with sustainability and pets in mind. Office spaces will be constructed with sustainable materials and energy-saving features throughout. The facility will have a dog run, dog wash stations and other pet amenities.

“Part of growing as a company includes creating an environment people want to work in. We have always had a pet-friendly culture and this new facility will enhance that offering, making work an accessible place not only for our team members but also their four-legged companions,” Viegut said. 

The facility’s state-of-the-art manufacturing area will be the largest of its kind in North America and feature high-speed automation designed and implemented by Gray Solutions to increase production speed and efficiency. When completed, the new facility will house 36 proprietary, custom-built, next-generation freeze-dryers. The new dryers, in combination with previously announced investments in Carnivore’s existing facilities earlier this year, will amount to a nearly six-fold increase in production capacity from the company’s 2021 production levels.

Building renderings of new Carnivore Meat Company’s headquarters. Rendering Courtesy Schuh Construction.

A new in-house Innovation Center will be at the forefront of Vital Essentials product development once fully deployed. “We’re truly excited to leverage this unique capability to deliver an even greater level of innovation, which has been at the heart of our brand and operations since the beginning,” commented Viegut. “Now we’ll be able to provide a personalized experience with retailers to truly show how unique our products are.”

Schuh Construction (“Schuh”) was chosen to lead the construction of the new facility. Working together since 2010, Schuh and Carnivore have collaborated on 50 projects to support Carnivore’s growth and expansion initiatives over the years. “As a long-time partner of Carnivore, we are grateful and excited to leverage our expertise in the food and beverage industry to bring their vision to life,” said Karl “Pudge” Schuh, Vice President of Schuh Construction.

Commenting on the partnership and investment into the new facility, Arbor Partner Chris Tuffin added, “We couldn’t be more excited to work hand-in-hand with the Carnivore team on one of the most ambitious capital projects Arbor has undertaken to date. This initiative reinforces our ‘bet the farm’ investment philosophy, and the new campus will be critical to helping realize the game-changing growth vision we share with Lanny and the Carnivore team.”

About Carnivore Meat Company

Carnivore Meat Company is an award-winning manufacturer of premium frozen and freeze-dried raw pet food and treats. Located in Green Bay, Wisconsin, the company’s rapidly growing brands include: Vital Essentials®, VE RAW BAR™, Vital Cat®, and Nature’s Advantage®. The company also supplies co-manufacturing customers and provides private label products to key retailers globally. Carnivore has been awarded the Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Award, Governor’s Export Achievement Award, and inclusion in the Inc 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies.

About Arbor Investments

Founded in 1999 with offices in Chicago and New York, Arbor Investments is a specialized private equity firm that focuses exclusively on acquiring premier companies in the food and beverage industries. To date, the firm has acquired or invested in over 80 companies in North America. 

Carnivore Meat Company’s Family of Brands