In Time for Busy Holiday Season: Lake Champlain Chocolates Expands with New Production Facility
Family-Owned Business continues to evolve after 35 years
WILLISTON, Vt., Dec. 7, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- With the busy holiday season upon us, Lake Champlain Chocolates (LCC) is ready to bring joy to the season with irresistible chocolate gifts. The landscape of the chocolate industry has transformed over the past 35 years – with LCC continuing to be a leader in the marketplace. Premium chocolate is a sweet spot in the industry, showing double digit growth (+10.5% in $ and +16.7% units) over the last 52 weeks, according to the National Confectioners Association (NCA).
"Over the past two years, we have invested significantly in our business in order to continue growing," says Eric Lampman, President of LCC. "Our manufacturing facility was crowded and operating at maximum capacity. By focusing on operational value streams, we now have reduced handling in a new 15,000 square foot facility. Complete with energy efficient tempering equipment which produces a better quality tempered chocolate using 50% of the energy of traditional tempering machines, high efficiency boilers that are 96% efficient for in-line process piping and domestic hot water, function controlled temperature zones, a custom moulding line plus wrapper system, and LED lighting throughout." The new facility combines underutilized warehouse space with newly acquired space in the building.
"We are a specialty confection manufacturer with more than 300 different skus and varying shelf life," says Lampman. "The new line and capacity provides added flexibility while reducing changeovers, allowing us to deliver fresher product than the competition." The certified SQF Level 2 facility is dedicated to organic manufacturing. A recent TechSci Research report estimated the global organic food market is projected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of more than 14% between 2016 and 2021, and according to the latest figures from the Organic Trade Association, organic food sales in the U.S. totaled approximately $43 billion in 2016. With tripled capacity after adding the new line, the company is poised for growth into new channels such as club stores and national retailers.
The commitment to excellence throughout the company's 35 year history has paid off – LCC now produces 1 million pounds of chocolate confections every year and their products can be found in more than 2,000 retail stores across the country.
The new space has alleviated the original Burlington factory constraints, allowing it to keep up with increased demand on hand-made products such as best selling Five Star Bars®, Truffles, Sea Salt Caramels, and organic holiday Snowmen and Santa.
"I am very proud of what our team has accomplished working with local contractors and global equipment vendors under an aggressive timetable in order to meet holiday demands, during which time we will ship more than 15,000 packages across the country."
About Lake Champlain Chocolates
Since 1983, Lake Champlain Chocolates has worked in pursuit of extraordinary chocolate moments™. As a pioneer in the American chocolate movement, the Vermont chocolate company strives to create only the best-tasting chocolates imaginable. In the early days this meant sourcing the highest-quality fresh, local ingredients and never using preservatives or artificial flavors.
Today, the second-generation, family-owned company's pursuit of the extraordinary continues. As a Certified B Corporation®, the company is committed not only to be the best in the world, but to be the best for the world by supporting cacao growing communities and using 100% fair trade certified chocolate, reducing toxins in the environment by sourcing organic ingredients, whenever possible, and continuing to make extraordinary seasonal and everyday chocolates for all to enjoy.
Lake Champlain Chocolates are available at their three company-owned stores in Vermont, nationwide at specialty stores and grocers, and online at Amazon and http://www.lakechamplainchocolates.com/.
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SOURCE Lake Champlain Chocolates