- ConAgra announced Friday that the company will invest $30 million to expand operations for the Lamb Weston business at its Boardman, OR, facility. Construction will begin in the spring with completion planned for 2017.
- The expansion will add a state-of-the-art processing line to increase capacity for making formed products, including hash brown patties and potato puffs, by about 50 million pounds. It is also expected to add 50 jobs.
- Lamb Weston's expansion is necessary for the company to meet global growth projections as demand for frozen potato products, particularly formed products, rises domestically and internationally.
As competition intensifies among major manufacturers and startups, ConAgra has to restrategize its brand positioning or risk losing market share.
Splitting Lamb Weston into its own entity within ConAgra enables ConAgra to refocus efforts on improving its consumer brand and product portfolio, which includes brands like Hunt's, Slim Jim, and Reddi-wip. Growth in demand for frozen potato products also adds support to ConAgra's decision to spin off Lamb Weston. Both Lamb Weston and the consumer brands need individualized attention.
This investment in Lamb Weston's processing expansion and the investment's timing support ConAgra's company split, which is expected to finalize next fall. Construction on the new processing line at Boardman should be finished not long after, which means Lamb Weston will be prepped to handle increased demand for its products as a new company from the get-go.