Lakeside Foods, Rack & Riddle complete new automated facilities

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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A look inside Lakeside Foods new facility, the new facility will include automation such as robots for case packing and palletizing packed cases.

Completing construction on a 100,000-square-foot packaging center in its headquarters of Manitowoc, Wis., Lakeside Foods has enhanced its frozen vegetable packaging processes by transitioning into the new facility, which has new automated production lines and state-of-the-art robotics equipment for bag options.

The $40 million project began in 2017 and the building includes five new shipping docks; frozen storage space with modern pallet racking; and hygienic design to reduce dust, humidity and foot traffic and to improve the cleanliness of the operation.

The news was announced at the Private Label Trade Show last week. Other announcements include:

Private label wine maker enhances capabilities
Healdsburg, Calif.-based Rack & Riddle, a manufacturer of custom-produced sparkling wines for retailers and wineries, announced it has ramped up production to 750,000 cases a year in its new 67,000-square-foot, automated production facility. The building includes a robotic neck freezer, automated corker, robotic case packing, and automated stacking and wrapping cases.

Mount Franklin Foods announced it will build a 220,000-square-foot facility to expand its candy manufacturing business.

Mount Franklin names new CEO, expands confectionary business
Enrique Grajeda has been named the president and CEO of El Paso, Texas-based Mount Franklin Foods, maker of branded and private label snacks, nuts, confectionery and foodservice items. Grajeda previously served as chief financial officer of the company since 2014. The company also announced it broke ground and began construction on a new 220,000-square-foot candy manufacturing site that is in the Mexican state of Chihuahua across the U.S. border from Santa Teresa, N.M. It will open in May 2020 and create more than 350 new jobs.

Sonoco debuts sustainable packaging initiative
Hartsville, S.C.-based Sonoco developed a new sustainable packaging initiative called EnviroSense that will include a range of new materials such as cans made from 100% recycled paperboard, rigid plastic packaging with post-consumer recycled content, recyclable mono-material flexible pouches, and new packaging designs made from agricultural fibers. The materials reduce the environmental impact in different ways: compostability, recyclability, fiber sourcing and the use of bio-based materials.

Woodland Foods appoints new leaders
Aram Karapetian has been named president of Woodland Foods in Waukegan Ill. The company specializes in supplying and importing more than 1,600 specialty ingredients to make globally sourced foods. Karapetian has been with the company for 15 years, most recently as chief financial officer. Additionally, Todd Larson joined as director of quality and food safety, and Ray Janson will become vice= chairman of the board of directors.