Lakeside Feeds PLMA Visitors Veggie-centric Street Food
181116plma eloute mexican street cornManitowoc, Wisconsin, USA-headquartered Lakeside Foods served up plenty of samples of its latest value-added vegetable dishes at the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) trade show which ran from November 11-13 outside of Chicago in Rosemont, Illinois. The frozen fare, capitalizing on national cuisine scene trends favoring veggie-forward meals and street food-inspired recipes, included Elote Mexican Street Corn, Garlic Herb Cauliflower, Chipotle Adobo Tomato pinto beans and Riced Cauliflower.
 
“People today, whether or not they are strict vegetarians, are ramping up their veggie consumption. Younger consumers particularly are more health conscious and drawn to vegetables’ bright colors and health benefits. They also understand that frozen vegetables are a convenient way to keep vegetables on hand,” said Trey Taylor, director of marketing at Lakeside Foods. “Our newest creations follow important flavor trends and make it fun and easy to incorporate veggies and beans into every meal.”
 
181116plma season garlic cauliflowerLakeside Foods offers these vegetable products and other combinations in custom packaging to more than 100 private label retail and foodservice customers in 14 countries. It also offers frozen whipped topping, specialty appetizers and canned baked beans through partner brands.
 
The company, which supplies the industrial sector as well as retail stores and foodservice operators, was founded as a small pea canning plant in 1887. Today, the family-owned business manages vegetable growing and harvesting operations through a network of regional farmers, ensuring food quality from farm to table.
 
181116plma lakeside foods logoExpansion and Acquisitions
On the production side of Lakeside Foods’ much-expanded footprint encompasses 13 processing facilities. Construction recently began on a 100,000-square-foot expansion of its frozen packaging plant in Wisconsin, which will include 10 new automated packaging lines capable of a wide variety of bag options including stand-up and bag-in-bag, a robotics palletizer with modern frozen storage racking system, and five additional shipping docks. Production in the new space is scheduled to begin September of 2019.
 
The $40 million project is part of a strategic growth plan that began with acquisitions earlier this year to broaden and diversify the company’s product portfolio.  The updates are designed to meet the custom packaging needs of customers and increase capacity to enable product innovation in the frozen foods category.
 
“The existing facility packages more than 100 million pounds of frozen and canned vegetables per year for more than 100 private label customers and operates seven days a week to keep up with current demand,” said Joe Yanda, senior vice president of operations for Lakeside Foods. “The expanded space and upgraded equipment will allow us to increase frozen food offerings and leverage new business opportunities.”
 
The expansion project comes on the heels of two recent acquisitions to broaden the company’s product offerings, better meet customer needs as a full-line supplier, and innovate into new food categories. In April, Lakeside Foods purchased Riverside Roods, a producer of specialty appetizers and seafood for the foodservice and restaurant industry. In June, it bought Good Eats Food Co., which markets niche specialty offerings including SER!IOUS Bean Co. flavored beans and Ruthie’s Twisted Harvest frozen vegetables. Both brands are available in retail and foodservice channels.