NASHVILLE, TENN. — Leclerc Foods, a maker of cookies, snack bars and crackers, has unveiled plans to invest $49 million to establish its U.S. headquarters in Kingsport, Tenn., and expand production operations. The new facility will include a manufacturing line for granola bars, warehousing and distribution space, as well as Leclerc’s U.S. headquarters operations.
Founded in 1905, Leclerc Foods employs more than 650 people in six facilities and distributes its products to roughly 20 different countries. Leclerc Foods’ expansion in Kingsport is driven by increased market demand in the United States.
“We have chosen to operate a second plant in Kingsport because this acquisition fits our business vision and corporate development strategy,” said Jean-Sébastien Leclerc, vice-president of co-manufacturing and manufacturing infrastructure at Leclerc Foods. “This plant will manufacture certified gluten-free products exclusively. It will allow us to position ourselves near our U.S. clients and meet their specifics needs.”Leclerc Foods currently employs around 100 in its existing Kingsport plant, which produces crackers and cookies. Leclerc Foods will continue operations at its first Kingsport facility, which opened in 2008 and has undergone two prior expansions. As part of the newest expansion, Leclerc Foods plans to renovate and upgrade an existing building. The work to rehab the facility will begin by the end of this year, the company said. Leclerc Foods anticipates the renovations will be completed in by mid-2017.