June 7, 2023

The Ugly Co. opens new processing plant, unveils new packaging

The Ugly Co., a producer of dried snacks from imperfect fruit, is opening a new processing plant in California and unveiling new packaging.

The 23.5-acre plant in Farmersville is equipped with cutting-edge technology including a self-developed sticker removal machine, pit extractors imported from Italy and 32 fruit dehydration tunnels, according to a news release.

The Ugly Co., a producer of dried snacks from imperfect fruit, has opened a new processing plant in Farmersville, California. Photo: Provided

“Our new fruit processing facility represents a significant step forward in our commitment to sustainable and healthy snacking,” Ben Moore, founder and CEO of The Ugly Co., said in the release. “We are proud to open this facility in Farmersville, as it allows us to support local farmers, contribute to the community’s economic growth and bring our delicious and nutritious snacks to more people.”

The company collaborates with regional growers to ensure a sustainable supply chain that reduces transportation costs and its carbon footprint. Bringing processing, including de-pitting and drying, in-house will give the company greater control over its products and help ensure better food sanitation standards, according to the release.

The new facility, now operational, will add 28 employees in an initial round of hiring in roles ranging from processing to management.

“Upcycling and addressing food waste has been an important issue in the San Joaquin Valley,” U.S. Rep. Jim Costa said in the release. “The Ugly Co. is bringing significant sustainable investments to the Valley in an effort to address the local food ecosystem.”

The company is also revamping its product packaging to provide greater transparency. The packaging notes that each snack is sourced from a single fruit with no added artificial ingredients or sugars.

The packaging also highlights farmers from the Central Valley from which its fruit is sourced and where Moore was born, raised and inspired to upcycle the fruit waste he saw firsthand as a truck driver, according to the release.

Last year, The Ugly Co. prevented more than 2.17 million pounds of food waste, according to the release. In 2023, it aims to turn three million pounds of imperfect fruit into snack products.

The company offers upcycled cherries, diced nectarines, diced apricots, diced peaches and sliced kiwis ranging in price from $5.99 for a 4-ounce pouch to a $28.99 variety pack with 18 ounces of dried fruit.

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