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Dairy, Produce, Blockchain and Innovation

By 2010, Golden State Foods had grown to more than 50 customer brands on five continents. In Liquid Products alone, the growth in the U.S. enabled GSF to reach nearly 30% market share in the country’s Liquid Products Portion Control category. During this year, additional QCD centers opened throughout the eastern and western U.S. in City of Industry, California; Portland, Oregon; Suffolk, Virginia; and Miami, Tampa, and Orlando, Florida. And by 2011, the company’s annual sales had reached $5 billion.


During the next few years, Golden State Foods continued to increase its product and customer offerings, along with expanding the company internationally. In 2012, GSF acquired KanPak China, a manufacturer supplying the QSR and retail industries, headquartered in Shanghai. This enabled the company to expand its Liquid Products production capabilities into China and venture into aseptic dairy-based product, such as smoothies, ice cream, coffees, creamers, frozen desserts, extended shelf life products, and specialty beverages.


In early 2013, the company acquired another Liquid Products facility called Groenz, located in Wellington, New Zealand. Along with servicing the QSR industry in Australia and New Zealand, Groenz brought several retail brands to GSF, including French Maid, In-House Systems, and Kiwi Style. Both acquisitions positioned Golden State Foods to continue to meet the needs of its fast-growing international markets.


That same year, GSF also acquired another distribution center in Lebanon, Illinois, servicing more than 350 McDonald’s restaurants in five states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, and Missouri. During this time, the company sold its distribution center in Rochester, New York, and merged its QCD Orlando and Tampa centers for better efficiencies.


Later that year, Golden State acquired Arkansas City, Kansas-based KanPak U.S., the parent company of KanPak China. This joint venture enabled GSF to expand its offerings in the aseptic processing category, while broadening its customer base into Canada and Mexico. KanPak U.S. brought in another select group of food and beverage customers, such as Tim Hortons, Burger King, Kellogg’s, 7-Eleven, Costco, and Chick-fil-A, further positioning GSF for additional growth. And by the end of 2013, the company had achieved $6 billion in annual sales.


In 2014, the company welcomed KanPak Penn Yan, New York, into the GSF family, expanding the product line into Siggy’s high-quality Icelandic yogurt. Golden State Foods partnered with more customers in Liquid Products, including Jack in the Box and Wendy’s, and eventually became one of the largest suppliers of liquids to McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Yum! Brands.  Later that year, Golden State Foods acquired ownership of Snap Fresh Foods, a New Zealand-based provider of premium salad greens, vegetable mixes, peeled baby carrots, fresh sprouts, dressings, and condiments. The acquisition included two facilities in New Zealand servicing that region, as well as exporting to China. Additionally, GSF built a new Chicago distribution center to service more than 460 McDonald’s customers in the Chicago and Northwest Indiana market. The DC, which also debuted a chef-run test kitchen, became the first center within GSF and the McDonald’s distribution community to be LEED Gold Certified. The company’s annual sales continued to climb and by the end of the year, they surpassed $7 billion.


As a charter member in 2015, GSF helped form the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, which focuses on sustainable advancements by educating all facets of the beef supply chain and communicating the sector’s continuous improvement. The company carries on its active support of the organization’s sustainable meat efforts today.


The following year, QCD purchased Mile Hi Specialty Foods to form QCD Rocky Mountain, LLC, with distribution centers throughout the western United States, including Denver, Colorado; Kansas City, Missouri; and satellite locations in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Casper, Wyoming; and Salt Lake City, Utah.


Exemplifying its digital innovation, Golden State Foods was among a group of leading companies across the global food supply chain to initiate a major blockchain collaboration (HyperInsights) in 2017 with IBM. GSF was one of the very first companies in the world to demonstrate the exciting innovations of this software module that increases transparency, heightens food safety, and optimizes inventory to further strengthen consumer confidence in the global food system.


The following year, to help the McDonald’s System better optimize its supply chain, Golden State Foods sold nine of its dedicated distribution centers in the U.S. and reinvested into other logistics and manufacturing areas of the business. This included the opening of an additional Starbucks DC in Fontana, California, collectively serving over 900 Starbucks locations throughout Southern California.


In early 2019, GSF opened a new 165,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Protein Products plant in Opelika, Alabama, where it consolidated its Georgia meat business to better service McDonald’s and other U.S. retail customers. This consolidation opened up additional, much-needed space for Liquid Products in Georgia. GSF’s newest Liquid Products production location with distribution capabilities also opened that year in Burleson, Texas. By the end of 2019, the 214,000-square-foot facility broadened its production operations to multiple liquid products for its QSR and retail customers.


Meanwhile, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, QCD opened another distribution facility in Salt Lake City, Utah to support customers, Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, and Chipotle, throughout the state, as well as parts of Idaho, Nevada, and Wyoming. Also in 2019, GSF debuted its tenth Innovation Center, located in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. The additional nine strategically-positioned Innovation Centers around the globe are located in Arkansas City, Kansas; Auckland, New Zealand; Cairo, Egypt; City of Industry, California; Conyers, Georgia; Guangzhou and Shanghai, China; Sydney, Australia; and Wellington, New Zealand. They provide the right environment for quality experts, nutritionists, chefs, food scientists, and regulatory specialists to collaborate with GSF customers in developing hundreds of new products each year.

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