Lamb Weston/Meijer, a joint venture between US-based ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston and Netherlands-based Meijer Frozen Food, recently announced plans to invest approximately $150 million (120 million euros) to expand its frozen potato facility in Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands.
This strategic investment will add a second production line to the plant—increasing capacity for making french fries and other premium frozen potato products—and is expected to create about 50 new jobs. The line is currently planned to be fully operational in mid-2016. The investment is being financed directly by Lamb Weston/Meijer with no additional capital investments from its joint venture partners.
The expansion by Lamb Weston/Meijer is consistent with ConAgra Foods’ strategy to grow its international business. As large quick-serve restaurant chains continue to expand rapidly across the globe, this investment by Lamb Weston/Meijer is expected to accelerate ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston’s international growth with customers. International consumption of frozen potato products continues to climb with the worldwide frozen potato category projected to grow by 1.8 billion pounds between 2013 and 2018.
“ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston is well-positioned to meet customers’ emerging market growth through our highly efficient, well-established dual sourcing model supplying our customer base with frozen potato products from both North America and Europe,” said Paul Maass, president Private Brands and Commercial Foods, ConAgra Foods. “In addition, local potato sourcing and production will play an important role in the future for select countries, such as China, where we expect the most growth.”
ConAgra Foods began production in its newly acquired frozen potato facility October 31, 2014, in Shangdu, Inner Mongolia, after investing in updates to the facility to meet exacting standards for employee safety, food safety, and quality. In June, ConAgra Foods completed the expansion of its frozen potato facility in Boardman OR, which supports domestic and international customer growth.
For more information, go to www.conagrafoods.com.