- Unilever announced on Tuesday that it will spend $152.5 million to expand its margarine plant in Gardner, Kans.
- The investment will lead to a 50% bigger facility and 100 new employees, bringing the total head count there to 270.
- $45 million, meanwhile, will go toward construction and infrastructure at the plant, which produces Country Crock, Promise, Imperial and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.
Kees Kruythoff, president of Unilever North America, noted that the investment means Unilever is "further investing in our core brands and we’re excited about the growth this will enable.” That commitment is significant in light of Unilever's reported sales for the first half of 2013. With spreads accounting for 7% of the company's sales, they clearly remain important. However, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter sales fell 3.9% while global margarine sales went up 1.1%. At the very least, this move appears to signal Unilever's confidence in their product at a challenging time.