The appetite of the French for more balanced, more responsible and more local meals has a very concrete translation for LSDH (Laiterie Saint-Denis-de-Hôtel). This family business with 2,000 employees is planning € 300 million in investments at its 7 industrial sites, along with 200 job creations, half of which in Châteauneuf-sur-Loire and Saint-Denis-de-Hôtel (Loiret).
“The upheaval in eating habits confirms the strategy of the company decided before the crisis”, underlines its CEO Emmanuel Vasseneix, who has long campaigned for a more virtuous diet. LSDH was a pioneer of the C’est qui le patron brand with its creators Nicolas Chabanne and Laurent Pasquier in 2015.
Despite the crisis, this conditioner of milk, fruit juice and salads shows increases of 15 to 20% depending on the product. “It’s even + 50% for fair trade products, which aim to better remunerate producers”, estimates the manager, who forecasts a slight growth in his 2020 turnover, around 910 M €.
A hundred jobs created
On the downside, LSDH recorded a decline in fruit juices, such as orange juice. The underlying trend which introduces more plants in our menus has been “confirmed by the Covid”, notes Emmanuel Vasseneix, who has registered his various subsidiaries under a label, the committed Vegetal, including Les Crudettes, Fresh Gourmet and GreenShoot salads. , which simmers soups and gazpachos.
This massive investment program is available on all LSDH sites. Work on a new 17,000 m² fresh warehouse is progressing rapidly in Châteauneuf-sur-Loire (Loiret). They should end next summer to welcome the Les Crudettes salad and raw vegetables brands as well as other products. Ultimately, 70 jobs are planned, including around 30 new ones.
Another € 35 million project: a new plant juice extraction unit (oats, rice, soybeans, etc.) will be built from next summer in Saint-Denis-de-Hôtel.
Planned before the crisis, the reconstruction of the L’Abeille fruit juice factory in Cholet (Maine-et-Loire) will be able to start in early 2021 for € 130 million. The building permit for a 50,000 m2 site has been submitted. This new factory will house a dairy.
Recruitment in perspective
Finally, Les Crudettes, a subsidiary of aeroponically grown salads and raw vegetables, will have a second 8,000 m2 greenhouse in Châteauneuf-sur-Loire, for around € 4 million. After the salads, the Crudettes will cultivate aromatic plants above ground, in partnership with the Swiss start-up Combagroup, in which LSDH is now a minority shareholder.
LSDH’s growth also depends on acquisitions. Last month, the companies Corbeilles and Micol, which cut fresh fruit and vegetables for caterers and hotels in the Paris region from their site in Bezons (Val-d’Oise), joined the group. This takeover follows that of IDS in Arras (Pas-de-Calais), which markets ready-to-use fruit and vegetables under the C’Zon brand.
All these projects generate job creation. LSDH plans to have 200 by 2024, half of which will be at the Loiret sites. The company is looking, among other things, for packaging line operators, electromechanics, logistics specialists and production managers.