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Milwaukee-area food and beverage manufacturers have got the goods

Friday, May 12, 2017   (0 Comments)

Business Journal
Barb Zaferos













The List of the largest food and beverage manufacturers with facilities in the Milwaukee seven-county area features companies making products that run the gamut from frozen pizza to frothy beer to food ingredients that enhance flavors.

The companies include big names like MillerCoors LLC and General Mills to those that grew from local roots like Palermo Villa Inc. and Fred Usinger Inc.

The List is ranked by the total local employees in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washington, Walworth, Ozaukee, Racine and Kenosha facilities, and this year, 11 of 23 from the previous year's list added employees.

When asked about products that have been notably successful a few executives were quick to share.

At Milwaukee's Klement Sausage Co. Inc., CEO Ray Booth said, "Our 'Ready to Eat' summer sausage and meat snack sticks are in the forefront of driving our U.S. expansion sales."

While Becky's Blissful Bakery in New Berlin didn't make the list, chief operating officer Mark Maglio weighed in on one of the company's caramels that has proven popular.

"Our Salted Whiskey Caramel is unbelievable. The combination of delicious flavors and local partnership with Great Lakes Distillery has made it a leading seller for us," Maglio said.

Pretzilla Burger Buns are the product that Milwaukee's Miller Baking Inc.'s owner Brian Miller points to as most successful, and Lakefront Brewery's Riverwest Stein stands out according to the Milwaukee brewery founder and president Russell Klisch.

Laurie Fallucca, chief creative officer of Palermo Villa Inc. in Milwaukee, said the company's Screamin' Sicilian line of overtopped craft pizzas has been identified as one of the fastest-growing frozen pizzas in the U.S.

"In fact, Screamin' was responsible for reshaping the frozen pizza category with the addition of a super-premium segment to the category," she said. "This segment has grown substantially in what has been a flat category in recent years — reflecting the growth of Screamin' Sicilian and our more recent launch of Urban Pie, an upscale pizza modeled after pizzas served at trendy gourmet restaurants."

And, according to Glorious Malone's Fine Sausage president and CEO Daphne Jones, gourmet hot and mild headcheese has been one of her Milwaukee company's most successful products

For the entire list of largest Milwaukee-area food and beverage manufacturers, see the May 12 weekly edition of the Milwaukee Business Journal.

A couple of large players in the Milwaukee area with plenty of employees went missing this year, as they did not respond to repeated attempts to obtain updated information.

The web version of The List includes eight additional companies who submitted the Milwaukee Business Journal survey, with tasty products and more than 12 local employees.

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