MRC - Manufacturers Resource Center


Freshpet Kitchens


Freshpet is a Bethlehem, PA manufacturer of fresh, natural food for pets. In the process of building the company, they are changing the industry through positive innovation combining the best of both pet and human food. Today their fresh meals for pets are delivered to over 1500 retail fridges across North America to over a million pet owners.  Freshpet employs 120 persons.

“MRC’s elimination of duplicate tasks—organizing specific tasks in equipment groups—helped us reduce a significant amount of effort. Setting a specific order to each of the tasks, and the correct labor for that task, within each equipment group, gave an ordered approach to sanitation and was an important next step.” … Steve Baas, Environmental, Health, Safety & Training Manager, Freshpet Kitchens”


Freshpet Kitchens recently underwent a relocation and capital expansion project in order to increase production capacity and meet projected sales growth.  The company expected to add 60 jobs in 2015 and 2016, and as part of this production and employment expansion, the company identified sanitation as an area that often reduced production capacity.

In order to minimize the downtime attributed to line sanitizing (which was often the result of equipment scheduling, associate task balancing/skill level, and workplace organization) the company’s management approached MRC with its goal of reducing sanitization time from 6 hours to 4 per 24-hour workday.


MRC’s recommended solution set included a Lean Manufacturing overview and “Plan-Do-Check-Act” (PDCA) problem-solving training, as well as the creation of IOPT profiles for key team members.  In addition, MRC observed the current state of a target production line in order to better understand the gap in the sanitization process.  This was followed by a Root Cause Analysis and solution design using the most appropriate Lean tools.

“The Freshpet Kitchens sanitization process benefited significantly from process mapping the sanitation tasks to identify wasteful activities,” says MRC’s Strategy Manager, Gene Kaschak.  “This enabled team members to better understand the critical tasks they needed to achieve during every sanitation cycle and created a daily dialogue to make sure that the improvements put in place during the project continue to benefit the company.”


  • MRC helped Freshpet Kitchens reduce sanitization time by 33%.
  • The elimination of two hours/day in duplicate tasks represents an 8.3% increase in production capacity.

To learn more about Freshpet Kitchens, visit their website at