Litehouse dishes up success for employees

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(Photo courtesy LITEHOUSE FOODS) Bottles wind their way down Litehouse’s new third retail line at its Ella Avenue production facility in Sandpoint.

SANDPOINT — Litehouse, Inc., a 100 percent employee-owned company and the number-one refrigerated salad dressing brand in Canada and the U.S., recently held its annual shareholder meeting in Sandpoint on May 18 with over 425 local employee-owners.

The company, which added nearly 58,000 square feet of manufacturing across its facilities in 2017 to support overall business growth, saw a nearly 18-percent increase in net sales last year and its share price increased nearly 15 percent over the previous year. The company’s success is not only shared with its employee-owners, but also with its three local communities: Sandpoint, Hurricane, Utah, and Lowell, Mich. Litehouse continued its commitment to supporting these communities by making nearly 100 charitable contributions to various organizations throughout 2017.

Litehouse first formed its employee stock ownership plan in 2006, selling 30 percent of the company to team members as a commitment to its employees and their communities, and in December 2014, became a 100 percent ESOP company. Studies have found that companies with ESOPs grow at a higher rate than comparable non-ESOP companies.1 Litehouse recently became a member of Certified EO; an employee-owned company certification program to continue to help promote the benefits that employee owned companies offer to workers, customers and local communities.

“We are incredibly proud and grateful to each of our employee-owners for making 2017 a great success for our company and paving the way for a bright future for their families, communities and our brand,” said Jim Frank, Litehouse president and CEO.

“In 2017 we had the opportunity to make investments in each one of our manufacturing facilities to support our phenomenal growth. We will continue to drive shareholder value through product innovation and quality excellence and support the communities where we live and work.”

A leader in the salad dressing industry, Litehouse is known for its delicious and innovative products. Last year, the employee-owners of Litehouse increased recipe development by more than 30 percent, resulting in 712 new recipes for its retail and foodservice channels, as well as its value-added channel, where recipes are leveraged in meal and salad kits to support the growing demand for “ready to eat” meal solutions. 2017’s innovation also included Mango Habanero Dressing, which received the prestigious 2017 Sauce of the Year Award from The Association for Dressings and Sauces.

Litehouse, Inc. started in the Hope restaurant of the Hawkins family over 50 years ago. Since that time, it has become the leader in refrigerated salad dressings, dips, sauces, herbs, and cheese, manufacturing the products at its three U.S. facilities. Litehouse offers its diverse portfolio of products through general retail, e-commerce, foodservice, deli, member stores, and value-added goods where Litehouse products are featured in meal and salad kits.

Information: LitehouseFoods.com, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter

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