King’s Hawaiian Bakery West, Torrance, Calif., is yet another perfect example of a bakery that’s stepping up its game in 2014. From 2003 to 2010, the producer of its signature Hawaiian bread and rolls steadily invested in upgrading its two West coast bakeries on an annual basis, said John Linehan, executive vice-president. However, as the popularity for its iconic products expanded coast to coast, the company opened a $45 million facility in Oakwood, Calif., to increase capacity and lower shipping costs.
Originally, King’s Hawaiian projected the facility would begin to reach capacity by 2015, but demand for the nation’s largest roll producer’s bread and rolls jumped as household penetration and frequency of purchase continued to rise beyond expectations. As a result, Mr. Linehan said, King’s Hawaiian is “hugely increasing” its capital spending.
Last year, the company broke ground to double the size of its existing Oakwood bakery during the first half of this year. By 2015, King’s Hawaiian will open another facility — 120,000 square feet — that will house an additional production line. In all, the company projected it will spend $100 million on its Georgia hub since moving there in 2011.
In the short term, Mr. Linehan noted, the expansion will provide capacity for existing products, but in the long run — three to four years down the road — the investments will support new product initiatives.
King’s Hawaiian not only has the “aloha spirit,” but it’s also making sure that it can tell consumers “mahalo” for years to come.