CANADA – Canadian food manufacturer Leclerc has announced plans to invest US$100 million over the next five years in expanding its operations in North America.
As part of the investment, Leclerc has purchased a factory formerly owned by Proctor and Gamble in Brockville, Ontario.
Leclerc, which manufactures a range of products under brands such as Celebration, Vital, GoPure, and Choco Max, will use the 790,197 square-foot production plant to produce its cookies and snack bars.
Leclerc’s expansion is timely as the incremental growth of US$ 806.08 million is expected in the snack bars market in the US during 2020-2024, according to Technavio.
Techavio notes that for producers like Leclerc, new product launches will offer immense growth opportunities, to leverage the current opportunities.
The market research firm further notes that producers must strengthen their foothold in the fast-growing segments while maintaining their positions in the slow-growing segments, something which Leclerc hopes to achieve with the new plant.
Cookies, another specialty of Leclerc, are also in demand. According to Data Intelo, the global cookies market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.3% during the forecast period to reach a market value of US$46.28 million by 2026.
Production at the plant is expected to begin in July, with plans to ramp-up to full capacity in January 2023, Leclerc said.
Once operational, the plant will be Leclerc’s largest and will be used to reach new markets and enter new product categories.
The government of Ontario has through its Eastern Ontario Development Fund allocated a total of US$1.5 million to the company to assist with the creation of new jobs and technologies.
The deal should provide a shot in the arm to Brockville’s economy after the site’s previous occupant, consumer packaged goods giant Procter & Gamble, moved out in 2020, leaving nearly 500 people out of work.
Leclerc expects to reverse this by creating at least 100 jobs once its factory is fully operational.
“We firmly believe that our team members are what make us stand out from the big multinational food companies and we look forward to welcoming Brockville residents into our family” said Denis Leclerc, president of Leclerc Foods.
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