An increase in the company’s private label sales helped Lassonde report an increase in annual sales by 5.3% in 2019, up $84.3 million on the year and totaling more than $1.6 billion.
Quebec-based Lassonde Industries develops branded ready-to-drink juices and is also one of the two largest makers of store brand shelf-stable fruit juices and drinks in the United States. The company also makes cranberry sauces, fruit snacks and specialty food items.
Lassonde is featured in Store Brands’ March issue beverage report where Josianne Légaré, senior vice president of U.S. sales, said the company’s hottest flavors include ginger, mango, passionfruit and tart cherry juices. “They all offer specific health-related benefits and are considered superfoods,” Légaré said. “They are all growing rapidly in the juice category.”
For the fourth quarter, the company’s national brands and private brand products showed stable sales gains, up a percentage point. However, the company did express caution in its earnings report on how well its store brands business will continue, saying “the competitive environment continues to be difficult in terms of private label products sold in the U.S. While it has seen a slight improvement in the profitability of its U.S. activities in the last quarter, its ability to reflect certain cost increases in selling prices remains a cause of concern.”
COVID-19 spreading throughout North America is also weighing on the mind of Lassonde, as it said there has been a slight increase in retail juice and drink sales but they are concerned with how the pandemic will impact sales in its foodservice industry.