WXXI AM News

Lidestri Food & Drink looks at new concepts for frozen food

Jan 23, 2019

The project  is a joint venture between LiDestri Food and Drink and a Belgian company, called Crop's which would add more than 120 jobs. It involves a new production facility at Eastman Business Park. It is a $51 million project, and would be Lidestri’s fourth plant in the area.

John C. LiDestri is co-president of the locally based company. He says this project involves the packaging of frozen fruits and vegetables, and coming up with new concepts for how they are prepared with seasoning and sauces.

LiDestri also notes his company is well positioned to take up this kind of production.

“There’s a lot of companies that are legacy companies out there that have older infrastructure and it’s going to be much easier for us to meet the demands of today’s more stringent food safety requirements,” LiDestri told WXXI News.

He says this is an area of food production with a lot of potential.

“The frozen food category is growing, believe it or not, the millennials are attracted to this category and there’s a simplification that’s occurred in the frozen food category and it’s just convenient and healthy, clean label, minimal ingredients, and that’s really on trend and we’re excited to get this operation up and running.”

New York State is offering up to $ 8million in grants and tax credits for the expansion  in exchange for job creation commitments. 

LiDestri hopes to start operations at the new facility in the fall of next year.