Pinnacle Foods is investing from $40 to $50 million to relocate production of its Wish-Bone brand salad dressings to its existing plant in St. Elmo, Illinois
. The plant currently employs about 85 people, with officials planning to add approximately 90 more to its roster in the first half of 2015.
Over the next 12 to 18 months Pinnacle plans to purchase new equipment, expand the plant footprint and improve existing infrastructure. Pinnacle completed the acquisition of the Wish-Bone and Western salad dressings business from Unilever in October 2013 and previously announced plans to consolidate production of the products into an existing Pinnacle facility.
According to the firm, St. Elmo was identified as the best location for the integration, given its geographic location and proven expertise in liquid filling and processing. The St. Elmo plant currently manufactures Pinnacle’s Mrs. Butterworth’s and Log Cabin syrups, and Open Pit barbecue sauces.
“Pinnacle Foods is pleased to be expanding in Illinois and adding capacity for the salad dressings business in our St. Elmo facility,” stated Tony Fernandez, Executive Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer at Pinnacle Foods. “The efficiencies we expect to generate in this new facility will enable us to invest to reinvigorate the iconic Wish-Bone brand. We would like to thank the state of Illinois, Fayette County and the city of St. Elmo for their support and help with our plans for this very important expansion.”
Pinnacle Foods will receive support in the form of grants from the state of Illinois and assistance from the city of St. Elmo and Fayette County to bring investment and job opportunities to the St. Elmo area.