South Korean food giant CJ CheilJedang said Monday that it recently completed the construction of the world's largest pizza production plant in the US state of Kansas, in a bid to ramp up its competitiveness in the all-important market.
According to CJ CheilJedang, the company recently added 40,000 square meters to its frozen pizza production facility in Salina, Kansas.
With the expansion, the plant now stands on 90,000 square meters of land, marking it the largest frozen pizza production plant in the world.
The plant will be responsible for the production of flagship frozen pizza products for CJ CheilJedang's US subsidiary, Schwan's Company, such as Red Baron and Tony's brand pizzas.
The company is also expanding its logistics center in the Kansas plant, with plans for completion by 2025.
"We have greatly increased the production capacity for Red Baron products to preemptively respond to the rapidly increasing demand for frozen pizzas in the United States," said Schwan's CEO Dimitrios Smyrnios during a ribbon-cutting ceremony held on-site Friday.
"We will aim to secure our dominant position in the pizza market with the world's top-quality state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, while also contributing to job creation and revitalization of the local economy," he said.
According to the Korean firm, CJ CheilJedang's sales in the US market during the first quarter scaled up by 18 percent compared to the same period last year.
The company's US sales have largely been headed by Schwan's, a US food producer that CJ CheilJedang acquired in 2018 for 2.09 trillion won ($1.5 billion). The US is the largest market for frozen pizzas with a 30-percent market share globally.
Since then, CJ CheilJedang said the US subsidiary clocked in some 2.2 trillion won in annual sales in 2019 -- with the brand raising more than three trillion won in annual sales, as of last year.
"Schwan's serves as an outpost for the expansion of (CJ CheilJedang's) global food business and is also functioning as a great boon for K-food in general," said an official from CJ CheilJedang.
"We will continue to develop our capabilities to become the No. 1 food company in the US," he added.