CJ Foods USA Inc. (CJ Foods), a U.S.-based affiliate of global lifestyle company CJ CheilJedang (CJCJ), has announced its plans to build a new 700,000-square-foot Asian food production facility in Sioux Falls, S.D.

The new facility, planned for Foundation Park in Sioux Falls, will result in more than 600 new full-time jobs by 2025 and include automated state-of-the-art food production lines, a warehouse and distribution center, shipping and receiving docks, and office space. The project will represent an overall investment of several hundred million dollars over the course of construction and will be funded through operating cash flow. Further investments in the facility's capabilities will be made as demand increases over the next several years.

All foods made at the production facility will be sold and distributed by CJ Foods and Schwan’s Company, a fellow U.S.-based affiliate of CJ Foods. Once complete, people working at the facility will focus on making a broad range of Asian-style meals, sides, snacks and appetizers in the shelf-stable and frozen categories. The new South Dakota facility will represent an expansion of CJCJ’s Asian food production capabilities in North America, with CJ Foods already operating five Asian-style food plants in California, Ohio, New York and New Jersey and Schwan’s Company operating two in Texas.

“This strategically important new investment represents an extremely exciting time for both CJ Foods and Schwan’s Company,” said Executive Chairman of CJCJ Food, Americas and Schwan’s Company CEO Dimitrios Smyrnios.  “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. Ultimately, this plant will meet the increasing needs of our retail and food-service customers by creating significant production capacity, fueling Asian food category growth, and enabling future innovation.”

“We thank state and local officials in South Dakota for helping to bring this project to Sioux Falls. 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,” added Smyrnios.

Investing in Asian food marketplace growth

CJ Foods is investing in the new Asian-food facility to support it and Schwan’s Company’s growth initiatives in the retail and food-service markets in North America. The two companies offer several Asian-style brands in both the food-service and retail sectors, including Bibigo, Pagoda, Kahiki, Minh and Annie Chun’s foods.

Asian food is extraordinarily popular in the United States alone, representing a more than $38 billion industry across retail stores and food-service venues, which includes 70,000 Asian-style restaurants. Worldwide, the cuisine’s popularity is growing rapidly as consumers increasingly embrace more global flavors. In a recent study by Technomic, a leading consulting and research firm, 23 percent of global food consumers say they are preparing more global flavors at home than two years ago. This rate was at 39 percent with millennials, according to the study.

“The growth and popularity of Asian cuisine is something we expect to continue unabated over the coming years, especially as consumers have the opportunity to increasingly experience high-quality, authentic global foods when dining out or preparing meals at home,” said Smyrnios. “We are excited to work with our retail and food-service customers to expand the Asian food category and create great consumer experiences.”

Working with South Dakota public officials

To help facilitate the project, company leaders from CJ Foods and Schwan’s Company worked with state and local public agencies and officials in South Dakota, including: Gov. Kristi Noem; Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) Commissioner Steve Westra; Sioux Falls Development Foundation CEO & President Bob Mundt; and Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken.

“South Dakota is open for business, and we’re excited for this tremendous investment in our state. The Sioux Falls community will benefit greatly from the new full-time jobs that this facility will provide,” said South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem. “I want to thank Dimitrios and everyone at CJ Foods and Schwan’s who worked with us to make this happen.”

Groundbreaking event in Sioux Falls Planned for Spring 2021

More details about the specific products and brands that will be made at the facility, as well as renderings and more specific construction timelines, are expected to be shared at an event at the Sioux Falls site of the future plant in the spring. Event attendees will include CJ Foods and Schwan’s Company leaders as well as South Dakota public officials.