Faribault Foods, Beverage Division
13512 Business Center Dr.
Elk River, MN 55330
The Faribault Foods beverage plant in Elk River, Minnesota was born in 2000 as SoftPac Industries, the nation’s first independent, private-label, high-speed beverage pouch producer. In 2005, the plant was purchased by Faribault Foods, Inc., to create Faribault Foods Beverage Division.
Today, the Elk River plant consists of three distinctive production departments. The pouch making function, which converts multi-layered film stock into the familiar looking stand-up foil based pouches. The mixing area combines various sweeteners, juice concentrates, water and flavors into a myriad of products for both branded and private label customers, while the packaging department fills and packages the pouches into a variety of formats for distribution.
The list of Faribault Foods accomplishments include: multiple awards for packaging innovation and excellence, the first nationally distributed 100% juice in a stand-up pouch, local environmental awards, and in 2013, the first juice processor ever to receive the EPA’s ENERGY STAR plant certification.
The company continues to innovate in the beverage pouch industry. In fact, many equipment innovations pioneered by the Faribault Foods staff have made their way back to original equipment manufacturers to be incorporated into their latest designs. As of December 2013, the plant added the Safe Quality Food Institute Level 3 certification to its list of accomplishments due to its comprehensive implementation of food safety and quality management systems development.
A heat pump and heat exchangers recover and re-use waste heat from the product cooling process to pre-heat water to make new product. This displaces more than half of the natural gas that would have been used for product heating. The new system, reducing gas usage by 39%, was integrated easily into the existing control systems & equipment which still provides full backup for plant operation during heat recovery maintenance.