Kemin’s expansion, a strong endorsement for Des Moines’ agribusiness park

kemin-postThe following is excerpted from an article originally posted in the Des Moines Register on August 27, 2017

The grand opening of Kemin Industries’ Worldwide Headquarters will mark the completion of a five-year, $125.5 million overall investment in the Des Moines community.  Located in the emerging southeast corridor near downtown, the new 94,000 square-foot building represents a $30 million investment and is the final extension of the state-of-the-art Molecular Advancement Center Research Facility, which opened in July 2013. Due to its rapid growth, the company has built enough space to grow its workforce by 25 percent. Kemin saw $635 million in net sales last year, nearly tripling its revenue over the past decade. This year’s sales have already beat last year’s, based on the company’s projections through July.

“Des Moines is our largest capital investment, and it’s where we do a huge amount of research,” said Chris Nelson, Kemin’s CEO and president. “As Kemin grows, Des Moines will benefit.”

Brent Willett, executive director of the Cultivation Corridor says Kemin’s expansion has given Des Moines’ agribusiness industrial park development one of the strongest endorsements for the region.

A global force, Kemin Industries “raises the profile of the park, the city and region as a place for investment,” Willett said. “It has that kind of cachet.”

Nelson says much of Kemin’s growth is due to the need for more protein in the world’s food supply. Also helping to drive Kemin’s sales: Consumers want to know more about what’s in their food and are demanding more natural products.

“If I go back 15 years, only about 5 to 10 percent of Kemin’s products were natural — or the active ingredients were derived from natural sources,” said Nelson. “Today, it’s closer to 40 percent.”

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