Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 56


Retail

LIDESTRI

Collaborative Innovators

LiDestri creates strategic partnerships and leads the industry with innovations in products,
processing and packaging. BY STEPHANIE CRETS

F
Stefani LiDestri,
co-president
www.lidestrifood
anddrink.com
Fairport, N.Y.

John LiDestri,
co-president

or more than 40 years, LiDestri has combined innovation
and collaboration to become
the premier private-label and
contract manufacturer of food,
beverages and spirits. From pasta
sauce and salsa to packing and
processing innovations, LiDestri
has been and continues to be a
pioneer in the industry. And with
the recent transition of presidency from Giovanni LiDestri to his
children, co-presidents Stefani
LiDestri and John LiDestri, the
company is poised to break more
ground in food and beverage processing and packaging.
In just the past eight months, the
company launched a High-Pressure Processing (HPP) tolling station and increased its capacity to
process cold fill aseptic beverages;
both in response to ever-growing
demand from a more health-conscious consumer base. LiDestri also
brought to market 'Living Jar,' a more sustainable
and shatterproof sauce package that instantly began
winning prestigious awards. And new products are
rolling out of its Innovation Center like clockwork.
"Creating a shift as we have in the last six years has
been a lot for the organization to digest, and it's pivoting mostly due to our diversification efforts," Stefani LiDestri says. "My father really started to recognize the commoditization of the sauce market meant
we would have to get outside of our comfort zone and
tap into other products, processing and packaging. It's
really about our strategic initiatives of diversification
to remain relevant and to become true innovators."

Innovation Center
Part of LiDestri's effort to get out of its comfort zone
involved opening an Innovation Center in 2014.
56

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LIDESTRI.indd 56

There, the company's research and development team, along with 20 certified tasters, come up with new, unique,
innovative products. Thanks to this
"trial by fire," as Stefani LiDestri
describes it, the Innovation Center
allowed LiDestri to create strategic
partnerships with other innovative
companies, such as Newman's Own
and Wegmans Food Markets.
"We've really gotten to a completely different place than we were
six years ago," Stefani LiDestri explains. "The transition is exciting
because of all the trend-setting
we're looking to lead our industry
towards - not only in packaging
innovation, but also through efforts
in sustainability. We're setting the
pace for the industry in really trying
to establish standards that we can
share beyond ourselves and make
an impact across the industry at the
manufacturing and retail level."
Product innovation is something
LiDestri has always prided itself on. It's currently in the process of revamping its salsa to make it
even hotter by manufacturing it with ghost peppers
and scorpion peppers. Both peppers are growing in
popularity in the salsa market, so LiDestri plans to
capitalize on that trend.
The company has also helped its partner Newman's
Own develop a new line of organic pasta sauces called
Common Good. The partners worked side-by-side in
the Innovation Center kitchens to develop the recipes,
cooking their way through a mountain of spices and
gallons of extra-virgin olive oil. After a few months of
collaboration, they had a product ready for market.
Always focusing on health and sustainability, LiDestri is excited about another upcoming product: an apple cider vinegar sipping drink. Stefani LiDestri first
came across this concoction shortly after having her

November/December 2016

11/8/16 2:46 PM


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016

Contents
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - Cover1
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - Cover2
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 1
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 2
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - Contents
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 4
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 5
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 6
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 7
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 8
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 9
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 10
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 11
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Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - Cover3
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - Cover4
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