The Covid-19 pandemic has upended supply chains throughout the world, causing shortages of everything from critical personal protective equipment (PPE) to everyday items like paper towels and disinfectant wipes. In order to prevent future stockouts, one food company is now investing $23 million in a production facility to ensure a steady supply of another item that has grown scarce during the health crisis: instant noodles.
The European food supplier KG Group is building the 70,000-square-foot factory in Alytus, Lithuania, in order to satisfy rising demand in the region for instant noodles in cups. Until now, most instant noodles have been sourced from various Asian countries, but the pandemic has forced many companies to alter their supply chains to be less dependent on Chinese suppliers, KG Group said.
"We are glad we will be able to meet the increased demand of local buyers, many of whom are European supermarket chains," Tautvydas Barštys, chairman of the board of KG Group, said in a release. "A new production plant in Alytus is our response to the rapid growth of consumer demand and changes in global supply chains."
The new facility is expected to more than quadruple KG Group's noodle manufacturing capacity, allowing the company to produce up to 180 million units of instant food in cups annually—a sharp increase over the 40 million units it produces today.