Growing the sweet spot: Sauce manufacturer investing in Ontario
by Sadi Muktadir
Select Food Products is aimed at growth, and continues to look for co-manufacturer partners that have pricing power within their market.
On Aug. 30, Select Food Products announced new investments to double its Ontario-based production capacity over the next 12-18 months, increasing its food manufacturing presence in the province.
TJ Kanaris, President of Select Food Products, was excited to sit down with Canadian Manufacturing to discuss the details of the investments.
Food manufacturing in Canada was not immune to the supply chain troubles plaguing many sectors throughout the pandemic. Select Food Products mentions troubles with the availability of raw materials such as packaging, the costs of transportation and shipping delays as some of the issues they had to navigate throughout the pandemic.
However, TJ was clear that these issues were not a factor in their decision to upgrade their facility.
“It was actually the challenges that our customers faced that was one of the key factors behind our decision to invest. Consumer-packaged goods companies that were sourcing products internationally, faced significant service challenges during the pandemic, and are now looking for localized production, which we were eager to meet,” says the President of Select Food Products.
TJ went on to mention some of the key areas of focus for the business over the next year.
“Fifty per cent of our factory assets are aging, so we’re looking to upgrade those, allowing us to increase production and meet growing demand from our customers. We also foresee an increase in headcount in the double digits as a result of these investments, split between frontline factory workers and in our office,” he says.
When asked if Select Food Products had an eye towards any investments being made to reduce its emissions, TJ mentioned that upgrading the older assets means that the factory would use less energy, produce less waste, and there was also a ‘sizeable’ investment being made to reduce wastewater from the production of sauces and condiments.
Staffing shortages and talent acquisition continues to be an issue for manufacturing at large, and food manufacturing is not immune. The Select Food Products President mentions having to search multiple months to hire for key roles, and how investing in an improved talent acquisition strategy is part of the new Select Foods growth plans, and has already started paying dividends.
“We’ve created a new role in talent acquisition to help us secure the best top-end talent, and we’ve already seen it pay off,” says TJ Kanaris. “A role that previously took three months to fill, was filled in a matter of weeks because we’d dedicated a new role to securing talent.”
In conjunction with this, the sauce manufacturer mentions improvements in compensation for frontline workers and increased communication with their employees as keys to a talent retention strategy that’s been working, according to the Select Food Products President.
Select Food Products is aimed at growth, and continues to look for co-manufacturer partners that have pricing power within their market, with an eye towards the food service industry as well as they improve their production lines.
The sauce manufacturer’s sweet spot appears poised for growth due to these investments, and will be a manufacturer to watch in the coming months.