SAN FRANCISCO — At the end of the second quarter Enjoy Life Foods, a business unit of Mondelez International, will open its new plant in Jeffersonville, Ind. The new plant will triple the company’s square footage compared to its plant in Schiller Park, Ill., and quintuple production capacity, said Joel Warady, chief sales and marketing officer for the company.
“This means we have to sell a lot more product,” he said during an interview Jan. 17 at the Winter Fancy Food Show. “But that’s not a bad thing. We have been working from a converted facility that was not built to be a food processing plant. We were making it work.”
|Joel Warady, chief sales and marketing officer for Enjoy Life|
The Schiller Park plant will be closed and the new plant will allow the company to expand production beyond its core lines of allergy-friendly cookies, bars, baking mixes and snacks.
“At Expo West (to be held March 9-13 in Anaheim, Calif.) we will be introducing some new products that will get us into some new categories,” he said. “That’s why building the new plant has been so important to us. It gives us the opportunity to put in a lot of new production lines and grow.”
Mr. Warady emphasized the importance of innovation to the future of Enjoy Life and key to innovation is taste. For the past few years, the company has contracted recipe development outside of the company.
“Recipe developers are specialists,” he said. “Manufacturers are great at manufacturing. When we develop an idea for a new product we bring in the experts. We tell them what we are developing, the ingredients that can and can’t be in the product, and let them do what they do best.”
The results have been positive and the company plans to continue the effort going forward.
“Everything we do is consumer-centric and that includes recipe development,” he said.
He added that being consumer-centric means companies must serve consumers vs. boards of directors and shareholders.
“Consumers want to know what’s in their food and it is our responsibility to tell them,” he said. “That’s been our philosophy and it has worked for us.”
Mr. Warady commended the Campbell Soup Co. for taking the lead on labeling its products as to whether they contain genetically modified organisms.
“It will be interesting to see what happens next,” he said.