The $40 million project will expand the facility’s frozen warehouse and refrigerated packaging space to meet the custom packaging needs of customers and increase capacity to foster growth and product innovation in the frozen foods category. The project includes redesigning processing operations to meet the highest food safety industry standards and installing automated packaging equipment.
“The existing facility packages more than 100 million pounds of canned and frozen vegetables per year for more than 100 private-label customers and operates seven days a week to keep up with current demand,” Joe Yanda, senior vice president of operations for Lakeside Foods, said in a statement. “The expanded space and upgraded equipment will allow us to increase frozen food offerings and leverage new business opportunities.”
The project is expected to be complete in early 2019, and Lakeside Foods plans to hire about 40 skilled employees.
“Lakeside opened our first pea canning plant in Manitowoc in 1887, and we remain committed to growing our business and providing living wage jobs in our community,” Yanda said.
Lakeside Foods’ packaging expansion comes on the heels of two recent acquisitions that allowed the company to broaden its product offerings, better meet customer needs as a full-line supplier and innovate into new food categories.
In April, the company purchased Riverside Foods, a producer of specialty appetizers and seafood for the food service and restaurant industry. Two months later, Lakeside Foods purchased Good Eats Food Co. and its SER!OUS Bean Co and Ruthie’s Twisted Harvest product brands.