Early County welcomes new peanut plant - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Early County welcomes new peanut plant

January 13, 2004

Blakely-- A major ingredient in many diet products and energy bars these days is peanut flour.

The low-fat, high-protein item is making big strides in other fields too, like the candy industry. One South Georgia town stands to benefit from the growing popularity.

Here's the future of Golden Peanut Company, "It's a good product, it's an easy one to deal with, and I think it has got a big future," says Special Products General Manager Ben Houston.

The product is peanut flour. Golden Peanut Company, the world's biggest sheller of peanuts, started producing the high protein flour in the early 1990's as a small side business. According to Houston, that side business is growing, "We hope in the time to come, we will be the shining star of Golden Peanut."

And this is how they hope to do that: with a brand new, $8 million peanut flour plant in Blakely, "We'll over double our capacity from this facility to the next one, and there is room for additional equipment if we need it."

Golden Peanut has been leasing a cramped space in Blakely for their peanut flour production. But, increased demand for the product has led to the multi-million dollar investment in Blakely-- and its success could lead to more jobs, "We have a little less than 30 employees right now, and we will add about five employees when we start the new plant. Down the road we are looking at as many as 50 employees at some point."

That's a nearly 60% increase in staff at the Golden Peanut Plant-- all because of this popular peanut product.

The Golden Peanut plant in Blakely also produces roasted aromatic peanut oil and peanut extract. The new location will open in September.

Posted at 3:55 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com

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