Strong sales attributed to product innovation and Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)
Sandpoint, Idaho (May 17, 2016) – Litehouse, Inc., the nation’s premier salad dressing, sauce, dip, herb and cheese company, reported that company revenue grew by more than 10 percent in 2015, one year after becoming 100 percent employee-owned. Last year Litehouse achieved additional revenue milestones, including recording its highest sales week and highest sales month in the company’s 50-year history.
Litehouse’s 10 percent growth significantly outpaced the average growth of 2.5 percent attributed to post Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) formation, according to the National Center for Employee Ownership. It also significantly outpaced the salad dressing industry growth average of 1.1 percent according to Datamonitor.
“The hard work of our team and our product innovations have made us a leader in the Refrigerated Salad Dressing aisle,” said Jim Frank president and CEO of Litehouse. “Consumers love our wide variety of products and value that we are a family of employee-owners dedicated to feeding families across America our delicious foods.”
Last year Litehouse introduced numerous products including two new flavors and a new look to the Organic dressing line, the number one selling organic brand in the RSD category. The company also debuted Green Garden, a wholesome line of dressings that are carefully crafted with USDA Organic Certified extra-virgin olive oil. Both the Green Garden and Organic dressings feature the certifications consumers are seeking: USDA Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified and Gluten-Free Certified.
Litehouse first formed its ESOP in 2006, selling 30 percent of the company to team members as a commitment to its employees and their communities. The move to 100 percent ESOP in December 2014 ensured continued local ownership with potential for significant retirement funds for employees. Studies have found that companies with ESOPs grow at a higher rate than comparable non-ESOP companies. There are more than 10 million participants in ESOP programs in the United States.
To help employee owners understand their ESOP, keep up-to-date on news and learn what they can do to positively impact performance, Litehouse holds annual shareholder meetings in its three facilities. The company also recently formed an ESOP Ambassador Committee, comprised of employees from all of its locations.
“Our ESOP Ambassador Committee is a vital resource to share information and gain insights from all our employee owners,” added Jim Frank. Together we have an amazing opportunity to ensure sustained growth and success for Litehouse now and in the future.”
About Litehouse Inc.
Litehouse, Inc. started in the Hope, Idaho restaurant of the Hawkins family over 50 years ago. Since that time, it has become the leader in refrigerated salad dressings, fruit and veggie dips, sauces, Instantly Fresh® Herbs, blue cheese, and apple cider, manufacturing these delicious products in three U.S. facilities based in Michigan, Utah and Idaho. Litehouse is proud to be 100% employee-owned and each one of the employee owners is proud to carry on the high standards of quality and innovation, living up to the slogan…Families Making Food for Families. For more information, visit www.LitehouseFoods.com.