Unilever to expand in Jefferson City, investing more than $80 million to produce Liquid I.V.

Unilever, one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies, announced today that it will expand its facility in Jefferson City, investing more than $80 million to add operations capabilities for the production of Liquid I.V., a brand within its Health & Wellbeing business. The company previously announced a separate $25 million investment in its Jefferson City facility in January.

“We’re thrilled to see a world-class manufacturer like Unilever continuing to invest right here in Jefferson City,” said Governor Mike Parson. “This company has maintained operations in our capital city for decades as a leading local employer and prominent community partner. We look forward to Unilever’s success as it continues to benefit from our state’s many economic advantages.”

As part of this expansion, Unilever will add automated operations to make products for Liquid I.V., a science-backed functional hydration brand that has become the number one powdered hydration brand in America. The product line features great-tasting, non-GMO electrolyte drink mixes to enhance rapid absorption of water and other key ingredients into the body.

Liquid I.V. was acquired by Unilever in October 2020, joining the fast-growing Health & Wellbeing global business. Liquid I.V. is now four times larger than it was in the period near acquisition and has helped Unilever’s Health & Wellbeing business deliver consistent growth.

“Unilever has been part of the Jefferson City community for decades, making products for brands like Dove, Vaseline, Axe, SheaMoisture, Nexxus and TRESemmé,” said Michael Whelan, Head of Unilever’s Jefferson City factory. “We’re so happy to be adding the Liquid I.V. brand to that list as we continue investing in the Jefferson City facility.”

The Jefferson City location, which has been in operation since 1966 and employs more than 450 workers, is the first Unilever facility to manufacture products for the Health & Wellbeing portfolio. The automated operations to produce Liquid I.V. include automated packaging lines, a blending room operation, and modifications to required infrastructure, such as heating and cooling.

“Unilever’s continued growth in Jefferson City is a testament to our state’s economic strengths and the collaborative efforts of our partners,” said Michelle Hataway, Acting Director of the Department of Economic Development. “This expansion is an exciting example of a quality employer helping Missourians prosper through ongoing investment and innovation.”

For this expansion, Unilever will benefit from the Missouri Works program, a tool that helps companies expand and retain workers by providing access to capital through withholdings or tax credits for job creation. The company is also receiving assistance from Missouri One Start, a division of the Department of Economic Development. Missouri One Start assists eligible businesses with their recruitment and training needs.

What others are saying

“Securing supply chain resiliency for Liquid I.V. is a key factor in continuing to drive growth for the brand,” said Jostein Solheim, Unilever Health & Wellbeing CEO. “We are pleased to make this investment into Jefferson City where Unilever has had a longstanding history.”

“Unilever is a leading Jefferson City area employer as well as a great community partner and we are humbled they have selected our region for this significant investment,” said Jefferson City Mayor Ron Fitzwater. “Just two months ago the company announced they are investing over $25 million to enhance its current warehouse operations and now an additional $80 million on a new product to be produced in our community which aligns with my vision for Jefferson City - we are open for business.”

“JCREP has been working closely with the Unilever team and many other partners for the last several months to help this project become a reality,” said Luke Holtschneider, President/CEO of the Jefferson City Regional Economic Partnership. “Unilever has a long and rich history in our community, and today’s announcement reinforces their commitment to the future growth right here in Mid-Missouri.”

About Unilever in North America

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Beauty & Wellbeing, Personal Care, Home Care, Nutrition and Ice Cream products, with sales in over 190 countries and products used by 3.4 billion people every day. It had 127,000 employees and generated sales of €59.6 billion in 2023.

Its leading brands in North America include Dove, Hellmann’s, Vaseline, Degree, Axe, TRESemmé, Knorr, Magnum, Ben & Jerry’s, Nutrafol, Liquid I.V., Paula’s Choice, and Dermalogica.

For more information on Unilever U.S. and its brands, visit unileverusa.com.

For more information on Unilever Canada and its brands, visit unilever.ca.

About the Missouri Department of Economic Development

The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) works to create an environment that encourages economic growth by supporting Missouri’s businesses and diverse industries, strengthening our communities, developing a talented and skilled workforce, and maintaining a high quality of life. As one team built around the customer and driven by data, DED aspires to be the best economic development department in the Midwest. Through its various initiatives, DED is helping create opportunities for Missourians to prosper.

For the latest updates on DED’s current or future programs and initiatives, visit DED’s website.

About the Missouri Works Program

As the state’s number one incentive tool for expansion and retention, the Missouri Works Program helps businesses access capital through withholdings or tax credits to embark on facility expansions and create jobs. This program can also help businesses purchase equipment to maintain its facility in Missouri.

About Missouri One Start

Missouri One Start is the state’s premier workforce recruitment and training division. It helps eligible businesses of all sizes stay competitive by providing customized recruitment assistance, along with resources to train and upskill new and existing employees. Its recruitment strategies and training programs are tailored to the specific workforce needs of the businesses it serves.