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Super-Pufft opens $50-million processing facility in Airdrie

A snack maker is opening its first multimillion dollar facility in Alberta.

AIRDRIE, Alta — American snack food company Super-Pufft officially opened its $50 million processing facility in Airdrie on May 17.

After two years of COVID-19-related impacts and an economic downturn felt throughout the city, Mayor Peter Brown welcomed big business coming into the community – and bringing 100 jobs with it.

“This is a huge opportunity for our citizens, for our community and... also your customers,” said Brown during the grand opening. “We're going to branch your brand out in our community and it will be the number-one treat in Airdrie.”

Over the next three years, jobs offered by Super-Pufft will increase four or five times, according to Yousif Al-Ali, president and CEO of Super-Pufft Snacks Corp.

The manufacturer has started hiring already and is in the process of taking on more employees over the coming weeks, he added.

Super-Pufft grew from a small popcorn factory to boasting two processing facilities across North America and now ships to 20 countries around the world.

Since new owners bought the company two decades ago, new product lines were added to extend the range and volume of snack food offerings with products like potato chips, kettle chips, popcorn, and other varieties.

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According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the snack food product category has been one of the fasting growing sectors in the domestic market in recent years. Masha Scheele/Airdrie City View

As production starts up in Airdrie, Al-Ali noted the multinational brands processed by Super-Pufft will become more readily available in local grocery stores.

Al-Ali anticipates the facility to start producing snack products in roughly two months. With both phases of the project operational, the facility will use about 78,000 tonnes of Alberta potatoes each year.

Brown thanked Al-Ali for choosing Airdrie and providing job opportunities for local residents that may be unemployed or looking for work closer to home in order to support their families.

He also thanked Alberta’s minister of agriculture, forestry and rural economic development, Nate Horner, for recognizing the investment in Airdrie’s business community.

“We're looking forward to such a successful future for Super-Pufft and everyone who works here and contributes here,” Brown said.

According to Horner, who was also at the unveiling, the facility will support Alberta’s emerging potato industry.

“I'm most excited because it shows that Alberta has a bright future in the global arena of food production and processing,” Horner said. “Alberta's government has been focused on creating a business environment that attracts new investments and reignites Alberta's economy.”

He noted that in partnership with the federal government, Alberta's government provided support for Super-Pufft’s new venture through the Canadian agricultural partnership as one of North America's largest manufacturers and co-packers of salty snacks for retailers and national brands. 

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Yousif Al-Ali, president and CEO of Super-Pufft Snacks Corp. provided a tour following the grand opening of the brand new $50 million processing facility in Airdrie. Masha Scheele/Airdrie City View

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership provided $250,000 in funding for the new facility.

“Super Pufft could have selected any number of jurisdictions across North America to do business, but they chose Alberta because of our reputation as a consistent producer of high quality potatoes,” Horner said. 

The minister added Alberta was also chosen for its goals to expand, modernize, and invest in primary agriculture production, and its commitment to the value-added processing industry.

“The Super Pufft Airdrie facility will provide a significant boost to Alberta's potato industry and will create hundreds of new jobs for Albertans,” he said.

Super-Pufft already broke into Canada’s market with a facility in Mississauga, Ontario, which includes a workforce of over 450 employees, as well as in the city of Perry, in Florida.

To find out more about the company or how to apply for a job, go to superpufft.com