Tropicana Products, Inc. is reinforcing its 64-year commitment to its Manatee County facility and employees with a multi-million-dollar investment in a new building, equipment and workforce training. According to Eric Basinger, executive director of the Manatee Economic Development Council (EDC), rapid-response permitting through Manatee County Government helped accelerate the pace of Tropicana's move to clear, plastic bottles. Last summer, the company converted Trop50 to a very successful new bottle that has helped contribute to growth of more than 50 percent. In February, it began transitioning its flagship Tropicana Pure Premium brand to a new bottle in the western region of the U.S. and has plans for expanded distribution.
"Tropicana had many choices of location for this project, and we are thrilled the company chose to reinvest in its original home in Manatee County," said Ed Hunzeker, Manatee County administrator. "The county's rapid-response permitting program was designed for this very purpose: to accelerate the investment by qualified businesses in their local facilities."
Tropicana is replacing outdated structures by building a 36,000-square-foot, $4-million facility for manufacturing. It also is investing in state-of-the-art equipment for the new bottle.
"Rapid response permitting is making a huge difference for us in meeting market demand for Tropicana products in our innovative new packaging," said Michael Haycock, Tropicana vice president of operations. "We can't say enough about how positive our experience has been working with the EDC and Manatee County Government."
"The EDC is proud to facilitate an outstanding working relationship between Tropicana, a legacy employer in our community, and Manatee County Government to speed construction and help the company begin its new manufacturing approach to meet consumer demand," Basinger said.