Nestlé USA today announced that the company is relocating its Nestlé Pizza Division from its present location in Northbrook, Illinois to Solon, Ohio. Nestlé Pizza is the maker of America’s most popular pizza brands, including DIGIORNO® (the #1 frozen pizza brand in the U.S.), CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN®, TOMBSTONE® and JACK’s®. The move will be completed by mid-2014.
The Nestlé Pizza Division brands were acquired from Kraft Foods in 2010 for $3.7 billion. The acquisition brought leadership in the frozen pizza category to Nestlé, which already led the frozen prepared foods category with its well-established STOUFFER’S®, LEAN CUISINE®, HOT POCKETS® and LEAN POCKETS® brands.
Nestlé executive John Carmichael will return to the U.S. from his assignment as Nestlé Zone Americas Deputy in Vevey, Switzerland to become President of Nestlé Pizza on January 1, 2014. Paul Bakus, the current President of Nestlé Pizza, has been named President of Corporate Affairs for Nestlé in the Market, effective January 1, 2014.
“By moving Nestlé Pizza to Ohio, we’ll bring together terrific brands and powerful businesses that will create many more talent development opportunities for our Nestlé employees,” said Nestlé USA Chairman & CEO Paul Grimwood. “The decision also allows us to better manage our costs and to improve our efficiencies by operating as One Nestlé with our retailers.”
Nestlé Pizza will join other Nestlé USA businesses in Solon, Ohio, which include Nestlé Prepared Foods, led by President Frank Higgins, which markets industry-leading brands STOUFFER’S®, LEAN CUISINE®, HOT POCKETS®, LEAN POCKETS® and BUITONI®, and Nestlé Baking, led by President Al Multari, whose well-loved brands include NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® baking ingredients and refrigerated (and in test, frozen) cookie dough, LIBBY’S® 100% Pure Pumpkin and NESTLÉ® CARNATION® milks.
Together, Nestlé’s pizza, prepared foods and baking businesses employ approximately 8,800 people in ten manufacturing locations across the U.S.
The relocated Pizza business will also benefit from close proximity to the expanding R&D facilities in Solon, Ohio. In June, Nestlé announced its $53 million investment to build a Product Technology Center dedicated to frozen and chilled foods research. The new facility is now under construction and will be operational in early 2015.
“We’re extremely grateful for the support we’ve received from Ohio Governor John R. Kasich as well as the assistance provided by the JobsOhio organization,” Grimwood added. “The JobsOhio team was very helpful in gathering the information we required to make the decision to move this business to Ohio. We also appreciate the support from the City of Solon led by Mayor Susan Drucker, who recognizes how important it is to secure good jobs for the community. The moves we’re making along with the growth we expect to achieve will add approximately 250 Nestlé jobs to the state of Ohio, where we already employ nearly 2,500 great employees.”
The Ohio business community celebrated Nestlé’s decision to add to its existing base of business in the state.
“Nestlé spent months determining the best place in the country to locate its pizza division,” said Joe Roman, CEO and President of the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP). “It was a very competitive process between potential locations. Obviously, we’re thrilled the decision is Cuyahoga County and we look forward to supporting Nestlé operations in the future.”
“We are delighted to welcome Nestlé Pizza to the growing number of internationally recognized companies that see the advantages of doing business in Northeast Ohio,” said Tom Waltermire, CEO, Team Northeast Ohio (Team NEO). “Team NEO, along with the Greater Cleveland Partnership, the City of Solon, Cuyahoga County and leaders from the business community worked together to showcase all we have to offer for Nestlé and its employees.
“Ohio’s world-class research and technology expertise, food product knowledge, and related manufacturing capabilities are uniquely helping Nestlé and other global companies find success,” said John Minor, JobsOhio President and Chief Investment Officer. “With our partners Team NEO and the City of Solon, we are excited about Nestlé’s commitment and value the opportunity to be a part of the company’s growth here in Ohio.”
Employees in Northbrook were notified of the decision to move the business last week. The majority will be offered the opportunity to relocate to Ohio.
The Nestlé Pizza Division also operates two pizza production bakeries in the cities of Little Chute and Medford, both in Wisconsin. These facilities and their employees will not be relocating to Ohio.
Named one of “The World’s Most Admired Food Companies” in Fortune magazine for sixteen consecutive years, Nestlé provides quality brands and products that bring flavor to life every day. From nutritious meals with LEAN CUISINE® to baking traditions with NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE®, Nestlé USA makes delicious, convenient, and nutritious food and beverage products that make good living possible. That’s what “Nestlé. Good Food, Good Life” is all about. Well-known Nestlé USA brands include: NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE®, NESTLÉ® NESQUIK®, NESTLÉ® COFFEE-MATE®, STOUFFER’S®, LEAN CUISINE®, HOT POCKETS® and LEAN POCKETS® brand sandwiches, NESCAFÉ®, NESTLÉ® JUICY JUICE®, BUITONI®, DREYER’S/EDY’S®, NESTLÉ® CRUNCH®, NESTLÉ® BUTTERFINGER®, WONKA®, DIGIORNO®, TOMBSTONE® and CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN® frozen pizza.
Nestlé USA, with 2012 sales of $10 billion, is part of Nestlé S.A. in Vevey, Switzerland — the world’s largest food company with a commitment to Nutrition, Health & Wellness — which recorded 2012 sales of $98 billion. For product news and information, visit Nestleusa.com or Facebook.com/NestleUSA.