Food processing giant Bonduelle to expand U.S. market after acquiring Allens' WNY plants
The frozen food industry in Upstate New York got a boost recently with global giant Bonduelle’s entry into the American market. Bonduelle, the French-based company that is a worldwide market leader in frozen, canned, and ready-to-use vegetables, made a recent acquisition of two frozen food processing plants and one packaging plant in Upstate New York, as well as a processing plant in Fairwater, Wis., that launches the company’s presence in the United States.
“Upstate New York was a natural selection for entry into the U.S. market because of the presence of a strong agricultural community that produces vegetables up to Bonduelle’s strict quality standards,” said Daniel Vielfaure, CEO of Bonduelle Americas. “We are very pleased with the way the acquisition has gone and are thrilled to be able to contribute to local economic development.”
The Upstate New York plants, which are located in Oakfield, Bergen and Brockport, were previously owned by Allens. Bonduelle acquired the properties in 2012 and retained all of the existing full-time staff. Bonduelle employs nearly 800 people in the U.S., 400 of which are full-time workers.
Bonduelle plans to process 257 million pounds of frozen vegetables in the United States in 2014; 40 percent will be processed in Bergen and 17 percent in Oakfield. The Brockport packaging facility will pack 130 million pounds of processed vegetables.
Jim Newcomb, facilities manager at the Bergen plant, has been pleased with the acquisition and the new ownership.
“They’ve been a great company to work for,” Newcomb said. “Bonduelle has exchanged innovative ideas with us and implemented some of our best practices in their existing operations. It really feels like a partnership.”
Bonduelle purchases produce — including sweet corn, peas, carrots, beans, and spinach — from local growers and rents space from local cold storage facilities, further infusing dollars into the area’s economy.
Although a well-known brand name in Europe, Canada, and South America, Bonduelle currently provides vegetables only for private label brands in America. Wegmans store brand frozen vegetables are a notable example of Bonduelle crops produced and distributed under private label.