Back Menu

For media inquiries about Gray and our projects, contact Jill Wilson, Vice President, Communications & Marketing

Kraft Heinz and Gray Construction Awarded Food Engineering Honors

Kraft Heinz and Gray Construction Awarded Food Engineering Honors

Food Engineering magazine honored Kraft Heinz and Gray Construction at its annual Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference and Expo (FA&M) in Bonita Springs, Florida. Kraft Heinz’s new factory in Davenport, Iowa, designed and built by Gray Construction, was named the magazine’s 2018 Plant of the Year.

Pictured from left to right: Debra Schug, editor in chief at Food Engineering; Rob Cubbage, plant manager, Kraft Heinz; Craig Smith, operations project lead, Kraft Heinz; Tyler Cundiff, vice president of business development, food & beverage, at Gray Construction.

Kraft Heinz invested more than $225 million to build its new facility in Davenport, positioned to replace an older facility some ten miles away. Selected to perform engineering, architecture and construction services, Gray Construction built the new, highly automated 382,000-square foot plant from foundation to first production in 14 months.

The plant produces millions of pounds of iconic Oscar Mayer deli meat, including Deli Fresh, Deli Selects, Naturals, No Antibiotics Ever, and Lunchables products, to satisfy customers across the United States. Since the landmark merging of Kraft Foods Group and H.J. Heinz Company in 2015, the state-of-the-art meat processing and packaging facility is the first greenfield construction project for The Kraft Heinz Company.“The ongoing demand from consumers for our brands made the new factory a priority,” said Michael Mullen, senior vice president of Corporate & Government Affairs for The Kraft Heinz Company.

FA&M brings food and beverage processors and suppliers together to gain valuable information on the latest trends and technologies in manufacturing, automation, sustainability and food safety. The Plant of the Year award has been known as the best example of manufacturing excellence in the food and beverage sector.

Followed by a praising introduction from Food Engineering’s Editor in Chief Debra Schug who called out the automation and the impressive hygienic design elements, the award ceremony included an in-depth presentation about the new facility from both Kraft Heinz and Gray.

“The Kraft Heinz plant truly is an example of the future food factory built today,” said Schug.

Tyler Cundiff, vice president of business development, representing Gray Construction at FA&M.

Food Engineering awards the most innovative new food or beverage plant built in North America each year. Many factors are analyzed as part of the judging criteria, including the plant’s contribution to long-term business strategy, the level of innovation in processing and packaging line design, food safety elements, building and site innovations, and the productive integration of workers.

About The Kraft Heinz Company

The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ: KHC) is the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world. A globally trusted producer of delicious foods, The Kraft Heinz Company provides high quality, great taste and nutrition for all eating occasions whether at home, in restaurants or on the go. The Company’s iconic brands include Kraft, Heinz, ABC, Capri Sun, Classico, Jell-O, Kool-Aid, Lunchables, Maxwell House, Ore-Ida, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Planters, Plasmon, Quero, Smart Ones and Velveeta. The Kraft Heinz Company is dedicated to the sustainable health of our people, our planet and our Company. For more information, visit

About Food Engineering Magazine

Food Engineering is the industry’s oldest and most preferred publication serving the $630 billion food and beverage manufacturing market. Food Engineering is the only magazine that offers a complete integrated media package. Be it in-print, online or in-person, the magazine is committed to meeting the information needs of executives in Production, Engineering, Operations and Packaging in North America’s largest food and beverage manufacturing companies.

For more information, visit

About Gray Construction

Gray Construction is a nationally ranked engineering, architecture and construction firm with nearly 60 years of experience in food and beverage, manufacturing, automotive, distribution and retail facility construction. Currently, Gray has several large projects that are under way or recently completed including: world-class DogStar® Kitchens for Champion Petfoods in Auburn, Ky., as well as custom-fitted NorthStar® Kitchens for Champion in Alberta, Canada; a fresh pork processing facility in Coldwater, Mich., for Clemens Food Group; an award-winning bakery for Mondelēz International’s Enjoy Life Foods in Jeffersonville, Ind.; and a snack food manufacturing facility for More Than A Bakery in Versailles, Ky.

For more information on Gray, visit