According to the National Confectioners Association (NCA), the demand for premium continues to grow, showing double-digit growth (+10.5% in $ and +16.7% units) over the past year in the United States.
At the forefront of the premium movement has been Lake Champlain Chocolates (LCC), who are hoping for a solid Christmas after opening a new production facility in Vermont.
“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.”
LCC says the new facility combines underutilized warehouse space with newly acquired space in the building.
The second-generation, family-owned company was established in 1983 as a specialty confection manufacturer with more than 300 different skus.
“The new line and capacity provides added flexibility while reducing changeovers, allowing us to deliver fresher product than the competition,” says Lampman.
LCC says it 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.