Like Cheetos, Funyuns or beer? If so you can thank LifeLine Foods, LLC. This St. Joseph company provides the corn ingredients in many of these products.

“If you’re drinking beer, the base product you’re drinking is possibly our corn mash,” said Kevin Kelly, CEO.

LifeLine Foods started in 1996 as a cooperative of area corn producers called AgraMarke and in June of 2001, the cooperative purchased an iconic 750,000 square foot manufacturing facility in south St. Joseph and formed what is now LifeLine Foods, LLC. The building is known to longtime St. Joseph residents as the Quaker Oats facility.

“We appreciate everything Quaker Oats did for the community prior to 2000 and the opportunity it gave LifeLine in 2001, yet we believe we’re all ready to stop looking back and continue looking forward,” Kelly said.

LifeLine Foods operates at the top of its field. It has the newest mill in its industry and ships its products globally.

“We help feed the world a calorie-rich diet,” Kelly said. “We’re going to Africa, Asia and South America from right here in St. Joseph, MO.”

One of the fastest growing product segments in the U.S. is Mexican food. Masa is a corn flour used to make tortillas, tamales, chips and other products. The corn produced at LifeLine helps produce high-quality Masa flours.

To keep up with demand and to continue to grow the company, LifeLine recently announced the kick-off of its specialty mill expansion.

Construction has begun on a 10-ton specialty mill, which will produce a variety of specialized products to meet enhanced consumer demand.

“Customers are asking for innovative and healthy options; and we have the capability and desire to grow to meet that vital request,” Kelly said.

The new mill will allow LifeLine to expand its product offerings to compete in the non-GMO and whole grain areas of food production.

“We’re keeping pace with current trends,” he said. “The American consumer has become more and more specialized. We are able to offer them exactly what they want.”