Westrock Coffee Launches Innovative Roast to Ready-to-Drink Manufacturing Facility

Ahead of schedule and 19 months after breaking ground, the production plant features robotics and end-to-end automation from green coffee through to packaging.

Scott Ford, co-founder and CEO of Westrock Coffee, raises an RTD can to officially toast the grand opening of the company’s RTD facility in Conway, Ark. He is pictured with (from left) Will Ford, group president of operations; Joe T. Ford, co-founder and chairman; and Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Scott Ford, co-founder and CEO of Westrock Coffee, raises an RTD can to officially toast the grand opening of the company’s RTD facility in Conway, Ark. He is pictured with (from left) Will Ford, group president of operations; Joe T. Ford, co-founder and chairman; and Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Westrock Coffee

Westrock Coffee, a top private label coffee supplier headquartered in Little Rock, Ark., has opened a new facility in Conway, Ark., calling it the largest roast to ready-to-drink (RTD) manufacturing facility in North America. The 570,000-sq-ft facility represents a $315 million investment in manufacturing capability and includes a comprehensive beverage development laboratory.

The opening of the Conway facility positions Westrock Coffee as a “leading force” in beverage production across a range of channels and formats, according to Scott Ford, the company’s CEO and co-founder. “Moreover, this facility extends our commitment to sustainability and responsible sourcing for our customers, farmer partners, and the communities we serve,” he adds.

In November 2022, Westrock Coffee acquired Richmond, Calif.-based Kohana Coffee, which enabled Westrock to accelerate the development, production, and distribution of RTD products in cans and multi-serve bottles.

November 2022 was also the month that Westrock held its official ground-breaking ceremony for the new Conway facility. And in its quarterly financial statement a few days later, the company noted that it would accelerate capital spending for the project, bringing some activities originally slated for Phase II into Phase I. “The company will now be adding a state-of-the-art extraction technology system, a multi-serve bottling line, and bag-in-a-box packaging lines to its Phase I projects that previously included a standard extraction system and high-speed glass bottle and canning lines,” the report said.

The Conway facility uses state-of-the-art robotics and end-to-end automation for seamless manufacturing from green coffee receiving through roast and grind, extraction, through to bottling and packaging. The building also includes a future-ready design that will allow Westrock to quickly scale to meet growing industry demands. An onsite R&D lab models full-scale operations, helping to scale new products from concept to commercial production.

A new 530,000-sq-ft warehousing and distribution center, located just 2 miles away, also sets Westrock up for efficient product distribution, reducing transportation times and maintaining a smooth and transparent flow of materials and finished goods.

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