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Instinct Pet Food

Comprehensive Design for New Plant and Processes.

Instinct Pet Food believes in the transformative benefits of minimally processed, raw pet food. Instinct is headquartered in St. Louis and produces a variety of foods for dogs and cats, with a primary focus on frozen and freeze-dried raw meals.


The customer selected Gray to design and build a greenfield food & beverage production facility for freeze-dried raw pet food. To operate the new facility as a raw pet food production plant, Instinct required extensive front-end services, process engineering, and specialized equipment. Gray provided Front-End Loading (FEL-1) services to evaluate growth opportunities and review existing processes before developing complete designs for the plant, including 3D drawings for equipment, processes, and utilities.

In Numbers

  • Lincoln, NE
  • 113000 s.f.
    Square Footage
  • 21 months; 11 months
Instinct Pet Food
Lincoln, NE
113000 s.f.
21 months; 11 months

Gray developed the customer’s project concept into a cohesive plant design and proposed the best layout for reconfiguration, including drawings and 3D models for equipment, processes, electrical loads, and utilities. Upon completion of the FEL-1 planning, Gray provided design-build, process design & engineering, and equipment services for the facility’s production, cold storage, and office areas, including tempering, freeze-drying, high-pressure processing (HPP), and dehydration/refrigeration elements. The project team seamlessly integrated the customer’s process equipment into the space, working closely with vendors to ensure that all specified equipment followed GMP, FSMA, and NFPA 652 guidelines.



Following the facility’s initial construction phase, Instinct selected Gray for a planned Phase II expansion to the plant’s process and storage areas. When completed, this Center of Excellence facility will provide best-in-show practices and tours for customers and partners.


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About Gray

Gray is a fully integrated global service provider specializing in engineering, design, construction, digital, equipment manufacturing, and real estate services.