Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially at Gilster-Mary Lee. One of the largest private-label cereal manufacturers in the US (along with Ralcorp Holdings), Gilster-Mary Lee makes more than 8,000 products under 500 private labels, including breakfast cereal, cake, baking mixes, cocoa and other drink mixes, dinner mixes, pasta, and more. The company's customers include major US grocery chains and food wholesalers. The company also offers products under its own Hospitality brand name. Gilster-Mary Lee owns about 15 manufacturing operations located in Arkansas, Illinois, and Missouri. Its products are available worldwide.
To boost its output of shredded wheat cereals, Gilster-Mary Lee has been investing in its production facilities in recent years. The company added conveying equipment, rotary cereal cookers, shredding rolls, and a roughly 230-ft. cereal oven that was specially designed to its production line. Gilster's facilities upgrade comes amid rising demand for more affordable private-label food products -- cereals included -- as tough economic conditions persist in the US and abroad.
The company operates its own fleet of trucks, which delivers Gilster's products to customers in Canada and the US. It also ships products overseas.
The Gilster family founded the company as a flour mill in 1895 and began making cake mixes in the 1950s. Gilster-Mary Lee is led by president and CEO Donald Welge and his brother, CFO Michael Welge; the two are great-nephews of the company's founders.
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