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January 11, 2021

Maple Leaf Foods to acquire facility for plant-based unit Greenleaf

Canadian meat and meat-alternative processor Maple Leaf plans to invest in its production network in the US amid challenges to its expansion strategy in the country from Covid-19.

By Dean Best

Canadian meat processor Maple Leaf Foods is set to purchase a food production facility in the US for its plant-based unit Greenleaf Foods amid challenges to its expansion strategy in the country caused by Covid-19.

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The food and grocery sector thrived during the pandemic, largely due to the shutdown of the food service industry and the sector’s subsequent necessity, panic-induced bulk purchasing, and spending more time at home. The market has grown as a result of inflation. Consumer unwillingness to go out and socialize, and the reopening of several hospitality facilities, helped maintain the demand for groceries, particularly online, in 2021. As consumer behavior changes, we consume more food and drink at home, and inflation increases basket sizes. GlobalData predicts that the sector will continue to hold a higher share than had been predicted prior to the pandemic. This is true despite the fact that the food and grocery sector's share of overall retail will decline from its peak in 2020. This report will discuss market forecasts and key themes in the global food & grocery industry in 2022 and beyond. It covers:
  • Market drivers and inhibitors
  • Five-year forecasts and the impact of COVID-19
  • The performance of the online channel versus offline
  • Major trends in the market including rapid delivery, ambient retailing, supply chain disruption, and inflation
Assess developments within this sector to help your business thrive in 2022 and beyond.
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Maple Leaf said the plant in Indianapolis will be used to increase production of its Lightlife brand of tempeh, a product made from fermented soy beans, once the transaction for the 118,000 square-foot site is completed by the expected time frame of early April, it said in a statement today (11 January).

The second phase of the project will involve the addition of new production equipment with an initial capacity of around 4.5 million kilograms.

Publicly-listed Maple Leaf formed its wholly-owned subsidiary Greenleaf Foods in Chicago in 2018 led by industry veteran Dan Curtin to house the meat-free businesses Field Roast Grain Meat Co. and Lightlife Foods.

In 2019, Maple Leaf announced it planned to build a new facility in Indiana for Greenleaf in Shelbyville. However, construction has been delayed, mainly due to the challenges posed by Covid-19, the company said today in the same statement. 

“By leveraging the opportunity to acquire an existing facility in Indianapolis to fast-track tempeh production, the company will be able to meet near-term growing demand for tempeh, while allowing more time to develop its longer-term vision for Shelbyville,” it said.  

Maple Leaf said the estimated cost of the Indianapolis plant, including the acquisition price and building out of the site, is around US$100m. The company aims to start production during the first half of next year, and when fully operational, the facility will employ about 115 workers.

Michael McCain, the president and CEO of Maple Leaf, said: “Maple Leaf Foods has been purposeful in executing a multi-tiered strategy focused on capital efficiency. To date, we have found ways to leverage the capacity of our existing plant protein manufacturing assets, while successfully utilising footprint in the rest of our network.

“At this juncture, given the high demand for our tempeh products, this project offers us the ability to deliver incremental capacity in a cost-effective, timely manner in a location that has synergies with our long-term vision.”

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Free Report
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What’s the forecast for the food and grocery industry?

The food and grocery sector thrived during the pandemic, largely due to the shutdown of the food service industry and the sector’s subsequent necessity, panic-induced bulk purchasing, and spending more time at home. The market has grown as a result of inflation. Consumer unwillingness to go out and socialize, and the reopening of several hospitality facilities, helped maintain the demand for groceries, particularly online, in 2021. As consumer behavior changes, we consume more food and drink at home, and inflation increases basket sizes. GlobalData predicts that the sector will continue to hold a higher share than had been predicted prior to the pandemic. This is true despite the fact that the food and grocery sector's share of overall retail will decline from its peak in 2020. This report will discuss market forecasts and key themes in the global food & grocery industry in 2022 and beyond. It covers:
  • Market drivers and inhibitors
  • Five-year forecasts and the impact of COVID-19
  • The performance of the online channel versus offline
  • Major trends in the market including rapid delivery, ambient retailing, supply chain disruption, and inflation
Assess developments within this sector to help your business thrive in 2022 and beyond.
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

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