Nashville, North Carolina-based Atlantic Natural Foods LLC (ANF), a manufacturer of shelf-stable, plant-based foods, says it is preparing to launch two new shelf-stable, plant-based meal solutions—Hawaiian Bowl and Ultimate Vegetarian Chili—under its Loma Linda brand. The new products were developed in collaboration with Costco and will start rolling out over the beginning of summer with the Hawaiian Bowl.
Additionally, the company is increasing its production in its joint venture operation in Thailand with Pataya Food Group under Healthy Life Foods Co. Ltd., while enhancing production in its North Carolina facility to meet increased product demand.
“In 2016, we committed to bringing tasty, shelf-stable, better-for-you, portable foods to the world at a good value, and we’re pleased to experience a 40 percent sales increase year over year,” said J. Douglas Hines, Atlantic Natural Foods chairman. “In seeing our strongest numbers to date in 2020 with more and more people seeking plant-based and shelf-stable options, we’re committed to continue innovating to meet growing consumer demand—all while maintaining the safety and well-being of our employees.”
Since January, the company has increased its focus on creating a safe environment for its operations in North Carolina and Thailand, while ensuring consistent product supply to the marketplace. The early steps that ANF took, alongside operational partner Pataya Food Group, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic gave the company a significant head start for operations that has proven successful for the business.
“Our resolve and process discipline were critical in creating established protocols that keep people safe while maintaining operations,” said Steve Morris, EVP of supply chain for ANF. “We will always place human life first and are proud to say that we are keeping up operationally as we are considered ‘essential.'”
ANF recently restructured operations in Thailand with Pataya Food Group under the group’s JV Healthy Life Foods Co. Ltd. to build out a 47,000-s.f. facility by June. Upon its completion, it will be the first space in Thailand fully dedicated to shelf-stable, plant-based foods production. Embedded within the existing Pataya Food Group factory in Bangkok, the new facility will be exclusive to producing Loma Linda ready-to-eat meal solutions and meal starters, as well as the company’s TUNO seafood alternative products. Utilizing fresh vegetable products from the farms of Thailand and other high-quality materials from U.S., including soybeans, grains and spices, the new operation will supply directly to the global market.
“This is one of the more unique ventures we have ever created as it promotes plant-based production exclusively in collaboration with the leading university in Thailand, Kasetsart University,” Morris said. “It not only supports college students as they learn about food creation for future generations, but also supports job creation in both in Thailand and North America.”
To support domestic growth and demand for its traditional products, ANF will be increasing production capacity at its North Carolina facility by adding necessary equipment and staff.