The patriarch of the Jaindl family said Thursday that he will build a manufacturing plant in the Lehigh Valley to make A-Treat soda, the iconic brand that he bought and rescued three years ago, if production goals are met.
David Jaindl made the announcement during a tour of the Jaindl Companies’ farm and facilities in Orefield, North Whitehall Township.
Jaindl, which now outsources the manufacturing of A-Treat, said he could build the plant at the Orefield site in the future. It already has a warehouse on-site where it stores and distributes the soda.
He said he plans to extend the warehouse and could build the manufacturing facility on-site there.
“We designed the warehouse to accommodate a manufacturing facility when we’re ready to build one,” Jaindl said.
“Once we reach about 2 million cases annually, we’ll start the process of building.”
Luke Jaindl, general manager of A-Treat, said there is no timeframe for construction to begin, and that it could take two years or five years. He also said the manufacturing facility could be built elsewhere in the Valley, not necessarily in Orefield.
A-Treat, a brand sold in the Lehigh Valley and regionally, nearly died three years ago when its manufacturing plant in Allentown was abruptly closed for what then-owner Thomas Garvey called financial reasons.
Months later, Jaindl Companies bought the brand and since then gradually has ramped up marketing, production and distribution of the soda, which this year turns 100.
750,000 TURKEYS A YEAR
Thursday’s tour highlighted the production of 750,000 turkeys a year at the Jaindl Farms complex in Orefield.
David Jaindl, in partnership with the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, gave a guided bus tour to nearly 60 people interested in learning about turkey farming and agriculture.
“My grandfather founded this business in the 1930s when he bought five turkeys for my father when he was 5 years old,” Jaindl said. “Years after, my father took over the business, and after he passed in 2004, I bought the business from his estate.”
Spread across 12,000 acres of farmland, the company breeds, hatches, grows, processes and markets its breed of turkeys and is the largest independent agricultural operation in the Lehigh Valley. The farm is primarily self-sufficient.
Its renowned broad-breasted turkeys are a breed developed by David’s father, Fred Jaindl, to produce up to 54 percent more white meat.
The turkeys are hatched from eggs parented by 25,000 artificially inseminated breeding hens, from 1,800 toms.
SEPARATE GRAIN FARMS
Jaindl has 160 grain farms in Berks, Lehigh, Northampton and Schuylkill counties, where it grows turkey feed, and the birds are packaged for market in Jaindl’s processing plant at its North Whitehall Township facility.
The meat is shipped in refrigerated trucks to markets in more than 20 states.
Jaindl also operates a feed mill and hatchery, as each year the feed mill produces more than 40 million pounds of feed for the turkeys. The hatchery operates as an egg wash center, incubation area and nursery.
The Jaindl family also has another business, Jaindl Land Development, and has many industrial projects underway or in the pipeline throughout the Lehigh Valley.