Lamb Weston Richland Plant to Get New French Fry Line

ConAgra Foods has announced that $200 million is being invested to expand its Lamb Weston facility in Richland, Washington. The addition of a new french fry processing line will boost capacity by more than 300 million pounds per annum and create 128 additional full-time jobs.

Worldwide demand for frozen french fries continues to rise, with Euromonitor predicting that the frozen potato category will increase 2.6 billion pounds by 2020. This capacity expansion will allow Lamb Weston to continue its global growth.

Construction on the state-of-the-art processing line is expected to begin immediately, with completion in the fall of 2017.

“We have a tremendous opportunity to help our customers realize their global growth projections, but we need to make more french fries to do that,” said Greg Schlafer, president of Lamb Weston. “Investing in capabilities like this is indicative of the opportunity we see in potatoes, and our specific opportunity to lead the category.”

Lamb Weston’s existing facility in Richland, which was built in 1972, employs approximately 500 people. The company has several offices and facilities in the Tri Cities area, including an Innovation Center in Richland, corporate offices in Kennewick, and two additional manufacturing facilities in Pasco. It ranks as one of the largest employers in the Columbia Basin, with approximately 4,500 people on the payroll in the region.

Earlier this year Lamb Weston announced plans to expand operations at its factory in Boardman, Oregon. The $30 million investment there will add additional processing capacity for making formed products such as hash brown patties and potato puffs. The addition of the line at the existing plant is expected to require 50 more people for the workforce, which currently stands at 390.

A frozen potato industry leader, the company operates 22 manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and China.