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Popping Up

Weaver Popcorn Manufacturing Invests in Growth

Writer / Brenda Green
Photographer / Krystal Dailey

Weaver Popcorn Manufacturing has made a $25 million capital investment at its Whitestown location. Weaver has been conducting business in Boone County since 2014 when the company moved the manufacturing plant and corporate headquarters to AllPoints at Anson. Nearly 500 employees are employed at this location. Weaver Popcorn Manufacturing

This $25 million allowed them to buy turntable wrapping equipment and invest in high-tech automated machinery. “Acquiring this type of state-of-the-art equipment changes the scope of work and the level of employee wages by creating highly skilled positions. It is an amazing addition to the building,” says Tim Ingle, Weaver’s chief operating officer.

Weaver currently touches 71% of the world’s popcorn supply and exports to 90 countries.  Product lines include seed, bulk kernels, portion packs, microwave and ready-to-eat popcorn. Most of the corn is grown predominately in the heart of the Midwest in Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Nebraska.

The acquisition of the new equipment will, over time, require a significant need for additional employees. Ingle anticipates the largest demand will be for associates with skilled trade backgrounds specifically in engineering and automation. He also expects the need for personnel across other departments.

“There is such a variety of jobs in the food industry. It’s fun to be in the business of plant-based foods because you can choose a career in the technical and automation side or customer service and other non-technical roles. Positions in food production will always be in demand,” Ingle says.

Ingle continued to explain.

Weaver Popcorn Manufacturing“It’s fair to say that what has happened in the last 10 years, and accelerated during COVID-19, is everyone has been extremely interested in plant-based foods and plant-based snacks. When you add the demand for organic food to that equation, it’s just kind of a multiplier. I would say organic popcorn is a high growth area for us. We continue to see increases in demand from both consumers and corporate clients.”

Weaver does not limit its attention to popcorn.  The 90-year-old, privately held, fourth-generation managed company believes in corporate stewardship. Committed to the environment and best agricultural practices, Weaver’s contract farmers, many of whom are organically certified growers, regularly conduct soil testing and practice crop rotation. Weaver supports INvets and Folds of Honor, both non-profit Veteran organizations.  Through the Trail’s End product line, the manufacturing company has had a long-held partnership with the Boy Scouts of America. Closer to home, Weaver employees have become involved with the Boone County Day of Service events.

“I think Weaver’s investments have had a positive ripple effect in Boone County starting with the number of employees we have hired.  Some of our corporate customers have established distribution centers in the county simply because they wanted to be closer to us,” Ingle says. “We see ripple effects as the automation companies we work with turn to partner with Vincennes University for robotics. I believe a rising tide lifts all boats and I believe we have made, either directly or indirectly, a positive impact on this community.”Weaver Popcorn Manufacturing

Weaver Popcorn Manufacturing is located at 4485 South Perry Worth Road in Whitestown, Indiana. You can learn more at weaverpopcorn.com.

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