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 (behind 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, food wholesalers, including Pinnacle Foods, and food service operators. It operates more than a dozen manufacturing plants in four states and its products are available worldwide. The Gilster family founded the company as a flour mill in 1895. It is run by the great-nephews of the company's founders.
Illinois-based Gilster-Mary Lee operates 14 manufacturing plants located in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri.
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.
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 is also expanding its product offering and production capacity through acquisitions.
Mergers and Acqusitions
To this end, in June 2012 Gilster-Mary Lee (GML) acquired the assets of family-owned, Indiana-based Little Crow Foods, including FastShake pancake mixes, Fryin' Magic and Baking Miracle seasoned coating mixes, Miracle Maize corn bread and muffin mixes, as well as inventory, product formulas, and equipment. GML will continue to market the acquired brands under their established names.
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