ST. ELMO — With a ribbon cutting on Wednesday, Pinnacle Foods launched production of Wish-Bone salad dressings and dozens of new jobs.
The event marked an expansion of Pinnacle’s existing St. Elmo plant to include Wish-Bone production. The plant currently employs about 85 people and is planning to add approximately 90 more to its roster in the first half of 2015, as the company prepares to bring Wish-Bone production in-house.
Over the course of the project, the company has invested over $50 million to purchase new equipment, expand the plant footprint and improve existing plant infrastructure.
“Pinnacle Foods is pleased to have expanded production in Illinois by adding capacity for the Wish-Bone salad dressings business to our St. Elmo facility,” stated Tony Fernandez, executive vice president and chief supply chain officer at Pinnacle Foods. “The benefits we expect to generate with this investment will enable us to invest in reinvigorating the iconic Wish-Bone brand. We would like to thank the state of Illinois, Fayette County and the city of St. Elmo for all of their support and help with this very important expansion.”
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. 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 has received 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.