Iowa Makes the Good Stuff: H.J. Heinz Co.

 

Iowa is proud to play an integral role in producing the world’s ultimate french fry dipping sauce – ketchup!

H.J. Heinz Co. produces 48 different recipes at one of its largest facilities located in Muscatine, Iowa. Nearly 20 million bottles of ketchup, mustard, steak sauce, gravy and other condiments, as well as four billion single-serve ketchup packets are produced annually in the small Mississippi river town.

The Muscatine plant, established in 1893 and the oldest Heinz facility, originally processed sauerkraut, horseradish and pickles. Today, it is one of the food processing industry’s most modern facilities. The company announced last November an investment of $24.5 million to expand its 830,000 square foot facility and to install technologically advanced equipment. The project will allow Heinz to acquire production of ketchup, gravy and other food products previously manufactured in facilities in Ohio, New Jersey and Ontario. The expansion will add 106 jobs, boosting employment in Muscatine to more than 420 employees.

1910 photo of Heinz factory in Muscatine, Iowa. Courtesy of Muscatine-tours.com.
1910 photo of Heinz factory in Muscatine, Iowa. Courtesy of Muscatine-tours.com.

The Muscatine expansion is supported by the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s High Quality Jobs Program and benefits from incentives offered by the city of Muscatine.

The “Iowa Life” is Hard to Beat

One of the things that makes Iowa a great place to run a business, is that it also is a great place before and after work. The state consistently ranks among the best in the country in virtually all quality of life metrics.

The 18-minutes each way it takes Iowans to travel to and from work represents the shortest commute in the nation. Compare that to a typical one hour behind the wheel each way in New York or Chicago. Iowans get to enjoy almost an hour-and-a-half more time every day to spend with the family, catch a ballgame or take a bike ride on one of the largest and most scenic trail networks in the U.S.

An added bonus is Iowa’s low cost of living, which is approximately nine percent below the national average. With the ninth lowest cost of housing in the country, you can find an affordable home in Iowa, often within walking distance on safe streets to and from school.

And speaking of school, Iowa also ranks among the leading states in education. High school graduation rates in Iowa are the top in the U.S.; contributing to the state’s high rankings as one of the best states in the nation to raise a family. In fact, it’s what lured Stan Askren, CEO of HNI Corporation, to pass up job opportunities on the East Coast and in France to bring his family to Muscatine.

In other words, Iowa is a place where you and your employees can have the kind of balance that makes for a productive workplace and plenty of ways and places to recharge.

To learn more about how else Iowa’s are enjoying a high quality of life every day, click here.

Spirit Lake, Iowa — Enjoying the Ride

Looking for a little American muscle? You can find it in Victory Motorcycle assembled in Spirit Lake, Iowa.

Polaris Industries, one of the leading manufacturers of snowmobiles and other off-road vehicles, took to the highways in 1998 by introducing  the V92C. It was the second largest motorcycle engine at the time and put Victory in competition with Harley-Davidson and other manufacturers in the U.S.

The plant currently assembles nine different Victory models including baggers, touring and cruiser bikes. The company also supports the Victory Motorcycle Club which holds events and rallies for Victory owners. The club boasts more than 90 chapters around the world.

Polaris, which also revived  the iconic Indian brand motorcycles in 2013, announced in August it will be creating 300 new jobs in Spirit Lake to assemble the new Indian Scout. The Spirit Lake plant, which is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year, currently employs approximately 700 people.