TaiMei Potato, the Chinese potato processor owned by ConAgra Foods, is to manufacture french fries to be sold under the Lorain brand owned by local food group American Lorain.
US-listed American Lorain said the deal was an expansion of a goal it set out in 2015 to “diversify and enrich the categories of its potato products to fulfil the needs of different preference”. One of the strategies was to procure potatoes domestically and label them with its Lorain brand.
American Lorain said TaiMei was “a well respected company with a strong background and solid manufacturing capabilities”. TaiMei’s production line is capable of producing ten tons of chips per hour.
“We all find it so exciting to work with TaiMei Potato in China. American Lorain has been working on the potato product segment for many years. We have maintained substantial resources and experience, and we are very confident with TaiMei Potato becoming our OEM factory and providing us with high-quality products,” American Lorain chairman and CEO Si Chen said.
“American Lorain will have TaiMei Potato manufacture about 2,000 tons of regular french fries at this time. But we do see more potential opportunities in the future for both companies. We believe this cooperation would not only help us implement the strategy, but also create more opportunities to expand Lorain branded products overseas,” he added.
ConAgra acquired TaiMei in 2014 for US$93m. The business is run through ConAgra’s Lamb Weston division. In November, ConAgra announced plans to split its business into two independent companies, the brand-focused Conagra Brands and potato products supplier Lamb Weston. The US giant said the move is scheduled to be completed this autumn.