Zatarain’s, the market leader in boiling products, has built a new production facility in Gretna. Gretna’s current facility is where all Zatarain’s products except frozen and ready-to-serve items are made and distributed. The company’s yearly nationwide sales are $250 million dollars with 6 million cases of products produced annually. Out of the $250 million dollars sold, $37 million comes from the rice mixes. This is important for New Orleans because most of the rice used is purchased from Louisiana local growers.
New Orleans is currently the heart of the market for Zatarain’s products which are sold nationwide. Crawfish season is the only time food-service-size packages are sold at retail in New Orleans.
General Manager Jill Pratt said, “The Walmart on Tchoupitoulas sells so much that if they don’t have extra, they will run out on the weekend.” Zatarian’s recognizes Nola’s loyalty to their products by contributing $1 million a year to various local sponsorships and charities.
More than 200 different Zatarian’s products are made in Gretna which prompted the building of the new facility. The new building is located on First Street in what is known as the industrial Gretna neighborhood. The $26 million dollar facility’s foundation sits atop 900 pilings that have been driven into the ground supporting the 80,000-square-foot plant. The new plant will speed up the process they call “ribbon blending” where the product is blended from 10 minutes to 1 minute. This plant is also responsible for around 300 stock keeping units (SKU’s) and individual products and is the location of the research and developmental kitchen where side dish mixes are created.
July 13, 2015 was a proud day for locals here in Gretna as the plant’s 200 plus employees toasted to root beer at the ribbon cutting ceremony. Root beer extract is Zatarians’s best-selling product on Amazon.com and was Emile Zatarain’s first product sold.