[caption id="attachment_220779" align="alignnone" width="1024"] This 22-acre parcel on Lafferty Lane will be developed for a small distribution plant for Frito-Lay. | PHOTO COURTESY OF GOOGLE MAPS[/caption]
DOVER — Frito-Layplans to build a small distribution center in east Dover, as part of its broad efforts to update its operations across the country.The snack food company recently filed plans to construct a 7,884-square-foot warehouse on a 22-acre parcel on Lafferty Lane. Delmarva developer Gillis Gilkerson bought the land in September 2021 and has signed on to develop the site for Frito-Lay.“We’re excited to continue to work with Frito-Lay, which is a nationally known company and has a strong legacy. We’re proud to play a role in their continued success,” said Brad Gillis, principal of Gillis Gilkerson.Frito-Lay already has a distribution center in the Tudor Business Park, and it is unknown whether the new distribution center is a second Delaware location or a relocated distribution warehouse. Frito-Lay representatives were not immediately available for comment.Planning documents show that the 22 acres on the north side of Lafferty Lane will be subdivided, between space for 880,045 square feet and 130,579 square feet. Frito-Lay will take the latter, and Gillis Gilkerson has no arrangement on developing the remaining space on the property with Frito-Lay. Gillis Gilkerson constructed a similar distribution center for Frito-Lay in Delmar, Md., as well as two other locations in North Carolina.“We have an existing relationship with Frito-Lay, as we’re their preferred developer in this area. This location has excellent access to Route 1 and U.S. Route 13,” Gillis said.Gillis Gilkerson had bought the land just off Horsepond Road last year for $574,000, according to county land records. The developer has listed the land through its commercial brokerage arm, NAI Coastal.Frito-Lay has invested millions in several other super-plans across the country last year after it benefited from millions of Americans staying at home and snacking while they work. In 2020, the Mondelez State of Snacking report found two-thirds of adults worldwide preferred snacking to a more traditional meal.Frito-Lay, the $18 billion snack food subsidiary of PepsiCo, has been investing in more manufacturing lines and warehouses to improve its distribution network. Notably, the company announced in June 2021 that it would spend $200 million on a Texas facility to add manufacturing lines for Funyuns and tortilla chips, as well as expanding space and bringing 160 jobs to the Lonestar State. Frito-Lay also announced it would spend $235 million on expanding its Connecticut manufacturing site and adding two Cheetos manufacturing lines, as well as $100 million in a new distribution center in Hudson Valley, N.Y.By October, Frito-Lay announced it would make further investments in benefits for workers, as the company had already hired 15,000 frontline sales and supply chain employees at the time."Our strategic investments across key manufacturing sites have significantly expanded our capacity to support strong consumer demand," PepsiCo Foods North America CEO Steven Williams said in a press statement in October. “We are proud to not only invest in our locations, but also in our people through continuing to provide great jobs with strong wages and benefits to our frontline employees.”While the plans are still working its way through the Dover Planning process, Gillis expects the new distribution center to be built by 2023, pending necessary permitting approvals.