SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A new Asian-foods plant with ties to the Minnesota-based Schwan's Company is coming to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and will bring 600 jobs to the region by 2025, company officials said on Monday, Jan. 11.
CJ Foods USA, a subsidiary of South Korean food conglomerate CJ CheilJedang, announced in a press release from South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem's office on Monday that the company will build a "state-of-the-art food production" facility in an industrial park in northwest Sioux Falls, making "Asian-style meals, sides, snack and appetizers," according to a release.
Schwan's Company and CJ Foods will sell and distribute the foods, said company officials.
"We thank state and local officials in South Dakota for helping to bring this project to Sioux Falls," said Schwan's CEO Dimitrios Smyrnios, in a press release Monday morning. "We look forward to building a long-lasting relationship that will be mutually beneficial for CJCJ's family of businesses and the residents of South Dakota."
Noem, in the same press release, also touted the food production facility, declaring "South Dakota is open for business."
"The Sioux Falls community will benefit greatly from the new full-time jobs that this facility will provide," said Noem.
Monday's news arrived by press release after a scheduled press conference was nixed.
The company had scheduled Smyrnios, also Executive Chairman of CJCJ Food, Americas, and Noem to make the announcement at a joint appearance in Pierre on Monday morning. But hours before the press conference, Noem spokesperson Ian Fury emailed reporters said officials would release the news only through a statement.
Fury told the Forum News Service in an email, "Unfortunately, schedules for both the Governor and for Mr. Smyrnios changed."
A phone call and email to Schwan's Company were not returned by deadline.
The build marks an expansion for both CJ Foods USA and Marshall-based Schwan's, also an affiliate of CJ CheilJedang. In August, Schwan's announced intentions to expand a frozen pizza facility in Kansas.
CJ Food USA's parent company, South Korean-based CJ CheilJedang, is one of many global food conglomerates that have seen growth during the global COVID-19 pandemic, as consumers stay at home and reach for ready-made meals. The company says they're also seeing increased growth in "global flavors" by millennial consumers.
The Sioux Falls facility, which will include "several hundred million dollars" of investment, according to the release, will comprise production lines, a warehouse, distribution center, and office space and will be housed at Foundation Park, an 820-acre business incubator at the intersection of railway and Interstates 90 and 29.
Last year, Amazon announced plans to build a large fulfillment center at Foundation Park.
Sioux Falls Development Foundation CEO Bob Mundt issued a statement, saying the foundation looks forward to "continue working with them [CJ Foods USA] to finalize their project here in Sioux Falls."
CJ Foods USA said the Sioux Falls facility will prepare a "broad range of Asian-style" foods, in "shelf-stable and frozen" categories for its Annie Chun's and Bibigo product lines, among others.