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CJ CheilJedang to expand Schwan’s pizza plant in Kansas

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A rendered image of the 90,000-square-meter Schwan's pizza plant in Kansas [CJ CHEILJEDANG]
A rendered image of the 90,000-square-meter Schwan’s pizza plant in Kansas [CJ CHEILJEDANG]

CJ CheilJedang will expand its Schwan’s pizza plant in Kansas to 90,000 square meters (968,752 square feet) to ramp up its efforts to produce frozen pizza.

The plant produces pizza for franchises such as Red Baron and Tony’s.

Schwan’s was acquired by CJ CheilJedang’s U.S. subsidiary for $1.84 billion in 2019.

With the 40,000 square meter expansion, it will be the largest frozen pizza facility in the world, CJ CheilJedang said.

The food company is also expanding its logistics center within the factory, which will be completed in 2025 and distribute CJ’s products, such as its Bibigo brand, in the United States.

“This is a world-class, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility that enables us to significantly increase our capacity to produce our quality pizza products and continue to support growth and innovation in the pizza category,” said Schwan’s Chief Executive Officer Dimitrios Smyrnios at a ceremony held at the Kansas plant after completion of construction on Friday.

“Red Baron is the fastest growing brand in frozen pizza and we’re well-positioned to meet consumers’ growing demand for their favorite pizza.”

Schwan’s Chief Executive Officer Dimitrios Smyrnios cuts the ceremonial ribbons at the Schwan's Kansas plant on Friday. [CJ CHEILJEDANG]
Schwan’s Chief Executive Officer Dimitrios Smyrnios cuts the ceremonial ribbons at the Schwan’s Kansas plant on Friday. [CJ CHEILJEDANG]

CJ CheilJedang’s quarterly sales in the U.S. this year jumped 18 percent on year to 1.1 trillion won due to increased sales from Bibigo dumplings and Red Baron pizzas.

Red Baron occupies 19.4 percent of the U.S. frozen pizza market, second to Nestle’s DiGiorno, according to the company.

“Schwan’s is playing a critical role to expand CJ CheilJedang’s global food business,” said a spokesperson from the company. “We’ll continue to ramp up our efforts to become America’s No. 1 food company and popularize K-food.”

BY LEE JAE-LIM [lee.jaelim@joongang.co.kr]

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