Lamb Weston, a global player in frozen potato products, is currently working on stage two and three of a $415 million expansion at its American Falls facility in the state of Idaho. When completed by mid-2024, the facility’s French fry production capacity will be increased by 40 per cent.
According to a recent update by the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation, the new plant will need an additional 12,000 acres of potato cultivation in Idaho.
The first phase of the project added a new chop-and-formed line that complements the facility’s French fry production capacity. When Lamb Weston contracts with a grower to purchase potatoes, they buy all the potatoes that come out of that field. The small or odd-shaped ones that are not ideal for French fries are turned into potato products that are formed together, such as hash browns or tater puffs.
The American Falls facility had been long on those small potatoes and was essentially aggregating them together and selling them to another company that could use them.
With the new chopped-and-formed line, those small and odd-sized potatoes can now be used at the American Falls facility and complement its French fry production.
The second phase of the project is adding a new French fry line, which will add about one million pounds per day of additional French fry capacity. It will use 2023 crop potatoes.
The third phase is a new 275,000-square-foot cold storage facility with capacity for 50 million pounds of frozen French fries.
Source: Idaho Farm Bureau Federation August 24, 2023 website