Schwan’s/CJ Foods to build Asian frozen food plant in South Dakota, 600 jobs expected by 2025

South Dakota News

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Most freezers in grocery stores across South Dakota have a Schwan’s Company/CJ Foods product. Think Red Baron or Tony’s pizzas, Pagoda egg rolls or Mrs. Smith’s desserts.

On Monday, the company and Gov. Kristi Noem announced an expanded Schwan’s presence in the state.

The company plans to build a 700,000 square foot facility to manufacture Asian frozen food products on 140 acres in Foundation Park in Sioux Falls. The plan includes the manufacturing plant, a warehouse and related.

Schwan’s promises more than 600 jobs by 2025, according to the news release.

Schwan’s is a subsidiary of CJ CheilJedang (CJCJ) of South Korea. CJCJ bought Schwan’s and several of its subsidiaries in February 2019.

The project in Sioux Falls is a CJ Food USA Inc. (CJ Foods) and Schwan’s project.

Schwan’s ranks second in the U.S. frozen pizza market and first in the U.S. for frozen pies and in Asian snacks and appetizers, according to the company’s website.

A Schwan’s Food Company product.

Executive Chairman of CJCJ Food, Americas and Schwan’s Company CEO Dimitrios Smyrnios said in the news release that “Adding this world-class Asian food plant in South Dakota will help us lead the fast-growing Asian food category in North America and achieve our long-term growth plans.”

CJ Foods has five Asian-style food plants in California, Ohio, New York and New Jersey and Schwan’s Company has two in Texas, Smyrnios said.

A CJ Foods product.

This would be the second major expansion in less than a year for Schwan’s.

The company announced in August it would build a 400,000-square-foot expansion at its pizza-manufacturing facility in Salina, Kansas. The expansion would add 225 new jobs by 2023.

The announcement came just a few days after the Salina City Commission voted to issue $600 million in bonds for the Schwan’s expansion, known at the time as Project Rise according to the Salina Journal.

Smyrnios said state and local officials in South Dakota helped with bringing the Asian production plant to South Dakota. The information released by the state today does not include any dollar amount the state or local officials may have provided.

Schwan’s is a multi-billion dollar company with about 7,500 employees.

The familiar Schwan’s frozen food delivery trucks are not part of CJCJ. The Schwan’s Home Service Inc. continues to be owned by members of the Schwan family. The home delivery business started in in 1952 when Marvin Schwan began delivering the family’s ice cream to homes in southwestern Minnesota.

Since its opening in 1978, CJ Foods has quickly become a major manufacturer and distributor of Asian food products with a focus on Korean food, according to Monday’s news release.

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