HP Hood expanding operations and adding jobs at Batavia plant

Dairy product manufacturer HP Hood is hiring as it adds additional capacity to its operations in Batavia.

The Massachusetts-based company produces and bottles extended-shelf-life, or ESL, (ESL) beverages at the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park. In addition to Hood, the company’s portfolio includes Planet Oat, Lactaid, and Blue Diamond Almond Breeze.

“There’s a lot of special equipment that’s required for ESL manufacturing,” said company spokesperson Lynne Bohan. “And with the introduction of a lot of new specialty milk and plant-based beverages, comes a lot of increased demand for these kinds of products … that require this kind of technology.”

The company plans to invest $120 million, mostly on new equipment, and add 48 new jobs by early 2025. With a current workforce of more than 400, HP Hood already is the largest tenant at the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park. That side is the largest of five HP Hood production facilities in New York state.

“You see almond milk, you see oat milk, Lactaid, lactose-free milk,” Bohan said. “With innovation in the industry, we’re seeing more and more demand for these kinds of products. And luckily for us, these products have been very successful.”

New York state is providing $1 million in tax credit assistance.

The company also makes conventional dairy products at its other plants.

“It’s just been a really great place for us to grow,” Bohan said of the Empire State, “because it allows us to purchase local milk or a lot of farms in New York for the dairy-based products.”

With almost 3,500 dairy farms and 620,000 cows, New York’s dairy industry is the state’s largest agricultural sector.

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