Enjoy Life Foods, the US-based free-from group owned by Mondelez International, is to build a new plant after running out of capacity at its existing site.
The company has started construction at a site in Jefferson in Indiana and expects to move production in the second quarter of the year. Its current facility in Schiller Park in Illinois is scheduled to close in the third quarter.
“We’re out of capacity, which is a good problem,” Joel Warady, Enjoy Life’s chief sales and marketing officer told just-food today (8 January). “We’ve outgrown our current facility, which is about 85,000 square feet. We knew we needed to grow the footprint of the plant and the ability to be more efficient. The new facility will be in excess of 200,000 sq ft, so more than double the size and it’s going to allow us to quadruple our production capacity.”
Enjoy Life was set up in Illinois by CEO Scott Mandell in 2001. Warady said it was impossible to build on Enjoy Life’s site in Schiller Park, with its proximity to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport a factor. He insisted all staff at the facility would be offered posts at the site in Jefferson, which is 160 miles to the south.
Warady added: “The other thing it’s going to allow us to do is we’re currently on a our batch process relatively small size batches but our business is growing so it’s going to allow us to be more efficient by putting in true production lines.”
Enjoy Life enjoyed gross sales of around US$45m in 2014, Warady said. He declined to give specific numbers for 2015 but said the business had enjoyed growth in the “high single-digits”.
Warady acknowledged the growth of the US gluten-free market was slowing but said category managers had reacted by delisting smaller brands, which Enjoy Life had managed to largely avoid.