US – Swiss food manufacturing giant, Nestlé has announced that it will invest more than US$100 million to expand its frozen food production facility in Jonesboro, Arkansas.
The investment will be used to install a new line to produce Hot Pockets brand sandwiches, as well as renovate and add 90,000 square-feet to the current facility.
According to a statement by Arkansas Economic Development Commission, the frozen food facility expansion will lead to the hiring of at least 100 new employees by Nestlé over a period of two years.
FoodBev reported that the move by the Swiss manufacturing giant is said to be in response to the growing demand for frozen food.
According to a report by Latest Industry Trends and News, the demand for frozen food products, witnessed a considerable increase during the pandemic as consumers rushed to get foods with a longer shelf life.
Moving out of the pandemic, demand for frozen food is expected to continue to soar as consumers continue to demand more convenient foods.
The U.S. frozen food market is for instance, expected to reach USD 72.98 billion by 2024, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc.
“Consumers are embracing eating at home like never before and rediscovering the frozen category, an evolution brought on by the pandemic that is showing signs of taking hold for the long term,” said Mike Mahon, the Jonesboro factory manager.
He added: “As we embrace the trend and plan for the future, we’re excited to be investing in our Jonesboro factory to support our Hot Pockets business.”
The Hot Pockets brand was first released in 1983 and was acquired by Nestlé in 2002.
That same year the Swiss giant opened its Jonesboro facility and has since conducted several expansions on the facility.
The plant currently has approximately 750 full-time employees who produce frozen foods for the Stouffer’s, Lean Cuisine, DiGiorno, Tombstone, and Sweet Earth brands.
Mark Young, president and CEO of the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce, said: “This expansion is the latest example of Nestlé’s commitment to Jonesboro. The combination of Nestlé’s products and Jonesboro’s people is heading into its second generation together.”
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