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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.


Instinct selected Gray to design and build a new 235,000 s.f. manufacturing facility for freeze-dried raw pet food in Lincoln, Nebraska. To operate the new facility as a raw pet food production plant, the customer required extensive front-end services, process engineering, and specialized equipment from Gray.

In Numbers

  • Lincoln, NE
  • 235000 s.f.
    Square Footage
  • 19 months
Instinct Pet Food
Lincoln, NE
235000 s.f.
19 months

The initial front-end-loading plan (FEL-1) reviewed the customer’s existing processes and proposed the best layout for their reconfiguration to allow for future growth. Gray developed the customer’s project concept into a cohesive plant design, including drawings and 3D models for equipment, processes, electrical loads, and utilities. The new design included tempering, freeze drying, HPP, research & development, warehouse storage, and a new production area utilizing dehydration and refrigeration elements.



Gray worked with vendors to properly specify equipment for the proposed layout and follow all GMP, FSMA, and NFPA 652 regulations. Upon completion of the FEL-1 planning, Instinct selected Gray for the next project phase, including a refined facility footprint for quoting.


Currently, Gray is providing complete process design and layout as well as utilities and equipment. Gray’s broad scope of work for the facility’s production, cold storage, and office areas includes design-build, process engineering, and equipment services developed specifically to facilitate a later Phase II expansion.


When completed in 2023, 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.