Nestlé has announced that it will invest more than $100 million to expand its frozen food production facility in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

The investment – which was revealed in a news release by Arkansas Economic Development Commission – 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.

As part of the expansion, the company plans to hire at least 100 new employees over two years. The move is said to be in response to the growing demand for frozen food. 

“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.

Nestlé opened its Jonesboro facility in 2002 and it has since undergone several expansions. 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. We are as excited about our future as we are proud of our history.”

Construction is expected to begin in January 2021.

Source: www.foodbev.com